Disney requires too much planning? Are they shooting themselves?

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by mshanson3121, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    lol ok pretty sure you have the same opinion but okie dokie.

    I watched when someone mentioned in the paid parking thread that the number of 1-stars jumped overnight on March 14th to March 15th it went from 51K one star to 65K or an increase of 14K in a very short time. In your OP you talked about negative and positive number of stars. Someone had mentioned that they had read prior to March 15th it was around 30K (that's what they said at least) one stars and then on March 17th it had an additional 3K with the total at that point of 68K. To put it into context is sorta important. Paid parking for overnight guests pissed a lot of people off but it had little to do with a first-timer's experience. A lot of comments then centered around the parking fee.

    I wasn't saying you as in you yourself didn't read all the comments but that it's easy to not to that and not get the full picture especially given that few people actually give the full picture in their comments. I'm not sure why you took that to personally mean you.

    I too have read comments in general on various sites and much like many things some is just people being people.
     
  2. pfp258

    pfp258 Mouseketeer

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    Being a visitor to Disney World over 25 times in the past twenty years, I have seen a lot change and not all for the better. When our girls were young we could plan spur of the moment trips and enjoy all the parks had to offer including sit down meals without much planning. Reservations for restaurants were available without planning a date and time 180 days in advance. What park we spent the day in might be determined by weather, extra magic hours or just how tired we were. I truly dislike having to decide what day I will be in which park to get fast passes and a dining reservation. Disney used to mean more flexibility in how used your passes at the park but sadly not anymore. We have moved onto Disney cruising which we prefer.
     
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  4. charmed59

    charmed59 Mouseketeer

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    As a child we lived near Disneyland. Our family went once a year and I loved Disney. As an adult, when we didn’t live that close to Disney we took our kids to Disneyland resort maybe 3 or 4 times, as by then it was competing price wise with other vacation times and dollars and we liked Maui more .

    We also took them on a Disneyworld/Disney Cruise package when the ships were new. The price vs surprisingly unmagical service at the Grand Floridian had us pull future family Disneyworld vacations off our to-do list. It did introduce us to cruising, but we ended up on other cruise lines that went places we wanted to see. By the time Disney offered destinations outside of the Caribbean we were onto other things. I do still think the service on our Disney Cruise was the best family cruise service ever.

    Now I live within an hour of Disneyworld. Because of the amount of planning and crowds we don’t usually think Disney. The day after the hurricane last September we headed to Epcot. It was amazing. We loved it. We could get fast passes the day of for anything and even the standby lines for things we less than 30 minutes. There were no lines for the international food booths and we dined our way around the world. Because we are Florida residents we got the 3 day pass.

    We went back almost six months later, in with a Disney planner friend to burn our last two days. Other than the fast passes she got for us (for some reason I could no longer access my tickets on my Disney experience once we added a hotel room, but she could) we couldn’t ride any other rides, it was too crowded. So now, though we are close to Disney, and have the means, we aren’t Disney people.

    As for comparing the amount of planning to other trips, we travel to Europe, Asia, and even Africa with less planning. Yes, get your safari or Eiffel Tower tickets in advance, but day to day table service dining? Unless you are going for Michelin starred restaurants (which would not include anything at Disney) they won’t even take reservations that far in advance. I can get Segway/bicycle tour reservations in most countries a week in advance.

    I don’t think Disney is shooting themselves in the foot. They are smart. They do their market research. They can fill up their parks with Super planners. And if it turns out they can’t, they will adjust.
     
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  5. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I'll be really honest. No one absolutely no one can think going during and right after a hurricane can be used for comparison sake. I was also there during Irma. I actually was there at Epcot too on the same day as you and other than during EMH for Test Track it was basically walk on or minimal wait. It would just be unfortunate if someone expected crowds to be the same any other time than right around a hurricane that forced the largest evacuation of FL, many people here on the Boards cancelled and moved their trips, etc--Heck my flight on the 8th of September was supposed to have a good amount of people on it (I got an A50 with a Companion Pass); there were only 30 people on the flight when we flew with one being a person going down to Orlando for the Red Cross for Irma and we were delayed leaving my home airport 1 hr because Orlando International Airport was halting incoming flights in order to get outgoing flights out as a priority since the airport would be closing the next day. It sucks for sure but that is one expectation that I don't think would be realistic. It was fantastic going during that time but it's not something that could be replicated even another hurricane going through unless it was the same magnitude of Irma or worse is unlikely to replicate the wait times and zilch crowds.
     
  6. charmed59

    charmed59 Mouseketeer

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    I’ll be really honest. I knew there were no people there and I could get by with no planning ahead. That’s why, after living in the shadow of Disney for a year, we finally decided that was the day to go. I read these forums. I know what the crowds and waits should be. I know what the folks on these boards expect should be the normal amount of planning that any one expecting to enjoy Disney should do. And there was no way I could convince my husband Disney requires the type of planning that meant we would be buying tickets that far in advance. Now he sees that, and we decided We like sleeping in and short term planning more than Disney.

    Universal on the other hand...after a last minute trip to City walk during spring break week where we could walk into any restaurant without reservations and didn’t see any crowds, we are booking a few days there with FOTL passes in September.
     
  7. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    That makes sense for sure. Apologies it was the way it laid out I interpreted it as you finally bit the bullet and went day after Irma and had a marvelous time with no to minimal waits and then went later on and it was the comparison between the two that soured you on Disney. I get now what you mean.

    Oh yeah Universal--different ballgame. It does require planning but far less in terms of Disney. I think a good portion of that is because they have a paid Express Pass. You can either purchase EP or stay at a resort that includes it or have the higher AP pass and use it after 4pm. There's also the Virtual Queue now too.

    As for the reservation you're right about that too. You can make reservations and some give priority seating to those who qualify but it's not a necessity generally speaking. I do think that's also due to the fact that the number of sit-down places that would be equivalent to Disney's TS are limited inside the park. Most seem to be outside in CityWalk and with CityWalk at night it comes alive (usually late too) whereas during the day not so much. Even then it will vary. We went to Toothsome the first day of HHN in September and at something like 8pm at night after leaving IOA it was a 70-80 minute wait so we went to Pat O'Brien's instead and we got in before they started charging cover charge. We went the next day to Toothsome on a Sunday around the same time and it was a 10min wait. I don't even think we waited that long.
     
  8. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

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    It's all about managing realistic expectations!

    When I was a child and we went in the 1980's, there were only three Parks - MK, EPCOT and MGM Hollywood Studios. But EVEN THEN my mother was very clear about the fact that we would NOT get to do everything and experience everything, and I was to be grateful to just be IN the Parks. I remember going back to our offsite hotel to eat whatever was in the crockpot. Actually I don't even know if back then, WDW had any onsite hotels aside from the deluxe options. We were able to afford ONE snack item apiece in the Parks and that snack was a vivid memory of our visit. One year it was a fruit salad, one year it was a Mickey Bar. We didn't have the budget for any sit-down meal that would have required us using the Disney booking service at that time.

    When I started looking for research tips online, it didn't take me long to figure out that MOST of the blogs are outdated with Old Disney info. Anything New Disney and still valid, is to be found here on DISboards.

    I wasn't fooling myself for a moment that WDW has approximately 20,000 or more guests everywhere at any given moment. Of COURSE you need to plan ADR's and FP+ with those kinds of guest numbers! Stupid Disney commercials make you believe that lines are short, the characters are still wandering free, and that all your dreams come true. Nope. Ain't nobody gonna buy you a free Mickey Balloon at the gates ;) And all lines are long. And you are standing in a long line no matter WHAT you are doing - eating, touring, the bathrooms, waiting for the bus, waiting for the train, waiting for the monorail....

    Really all you have to do is think to yourself, "How many thousands of other people are going to be there? How many of them do you think will want Japanese food at dinner?" The answer is, more parties than the restaurant can hold at any given time. MAKE AN ADR!!! We are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past the days of, "Drive to the TTC on a whim and buy Park tickets for the day and wander around to see what there is to see."

    Maybe you can do that if you are a FL resident or a very-close-by AP holder and you have many many many visits to experience all that there is, but for those who travel distances, and budget for longer trips, it is just too much money at a destination with too many other people to "just show up and see what happens".

    But!!! Disney has marketed itself well over many decades and is now seen as a standard rite of passage or entitlement for most middle/upper-class income families, so they will pay whatever they need to, in order to fulfill their little Prince or Princesses' expectations. It becomes clear very quickly that WDW is all about "pay to play" if you can afford it! Planning quickly becomes "Which upsells do I need to buy so we can see __________, do ___________ and also _______________? These are deal-breakers for the vacay!"

    I don't think Disney is shooting themselves in the foot - I think they are refining their demographic. It's already next to impossible to have a True Budget Disney Trip, as we have seen from recent threads on, "Can I make this trip happen for $xxxxx?" and most replies were flat-out, "NO."
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  9. Roxyfire

    Roxyfire Is butter a carb?

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    You make some really good points here. I think the big sticking points are FP+ and dining reservations that people may not know. It's not totally intuitive that someone would need to book very early in advance for a dinner in Cinderella's castle, for example. As a child my experiences were very similar to yours, aside from eating whatever is in the crock pot. We'd go to the same restaurants no matter where we went, so that meant Shoney's (ugggh) for breakfast, McD's or Long John Silver's (double ugghh) for lunch and Ruby Tuesday's (or similar type place) for dinner. My dad was a very picky eater so we'd get snacks in the park but we didn't eat meals or stay on-site. Heck, I didn't even know Disney World had their own hotels until I started researching only a few years ago. But that didn't take long to go "Oh ok, well I guess I need to figure out if I want to stay there or get a hotel room somewhere else." And WDW is smart, those rooms feel very front and center on the website as you can look for rooms before even thinking about tickets.

    So my gut reaction here is, it's ok if people don't know about dining reservations. I do think it matters about FP+ because that helps guests who want to use it. People can easily misunderstand or get bad information about it. But you can get that information pretty easily if you look on the disney world website. Everything else is basic research that one would probably do. What parks are here? What rides do they have? How expensive are the tickets? How expensive is the food? And so on.

    I live near chicago so I'm familiar with all the museums we have here, but let's say someone is visiting for the first time. They'd probably want to look up where the various museums and tourist spots are, what they offer, and so on. That can take some time too, and they're all expensive so you wouldn't want to show up at Museum of Science and Industry and expect to see the dinosaur bones for example. But I'm sure a few people have done that.

    I guess my point is, I don't think it's more planning, it's just planning unexpected things that seems like it takes longer if that makes sense.
     
  10. xmansmom

    xmansmom Mouseketeer

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    I actually enjoy planning our Disney trips but see why newbies would be turned off. We used to be able to do last minute trips (3-4 wks out) and have a great time. With the new fp system those trips are a thing of the past. The good fast passes are all gone. The fps you do get are so late in the day that you have no hope of getting any extras. While the new system is super simple and convenient, it doesn’t help you unless you book way in advance and stay on property. Disney could have had a lot more of my money if the system had not changed.
     
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  11. Summer2018

    Summer2018 DIS Veteran

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    I am accustomed to booking vacations well in advance. Maybe it’s the places we go. For example, in order to get a beachfront suite in my favorite resort in Cape Cod, MA, in July, I have to book by January at the latest. The waterfront rooms go really fast. I know what I like, and I am willing to do what I have to do to stay there. We tend to choose destinations that require advance reservations.
     
  12. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I don't know if we've had enough time to really get a feel for if there's actually going to be a significant enough impact or not but there are properties that are onsite but not Disney owned that now get 60days FP

    I would agree with you that last minute trips make pre-booking FPs potentially harder depending on when you're going and what attractions and times you are looking for but I would also mention that with Legacy FP if you didn't get to the park early enough FP distribution for rides would be completely gone for the day. Back in 2011 we made it on TSMM 1 time 5 mins before park close because FP distribution was always gone by the time we made it to the park and it was always listed as at least a 75min wait which we opted not to wait in line for (well it was the wait and the sheer number of younger kids in line as well lol). If they run all 3 tracks I know that has been helping the wait times nowadays though.

    I do know APs and locals though have said they can get FPs at 30 days out for things so it could be a preference thing though for what time and what attraction you're wanting. I also know, which isn't a known thing to everyone out there that goes to WDW admittedly, is that modifying FP times can open up more availability in terms of options than what you pre-selected as well as when you're in the park itself checking for same-day FPs and refreshing also can yield results.
     
  13. xmansmom

    xmansmom Mouseketeer

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    My husband's schedule doesn't always usually allow us to plan in advance. We usually save all of the planned advanced time off for international destinations. Those definitely require more planning. I'm guessing last minute trips aren't something most people do. I was was just stating how it affects my family.
     
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  14. xmansmom

    xmansmom Mouseketeer

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    We never had a problem getting FPs with the old system. It's not the times I want that are the problem. I booked for June a few days ago and FPs for some rides were gone. They had no FPs on any day at any time. With the new system you have to be booked by the 60 day mark and get FPs on the first day possible. Obviously I just don't like change. lol
     
  15. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Yeah....but I did. The old system favored those who got to the parks in the early morning usually and with sometimes late morning. For newbie's who got there at 10-11am their FP options were more limited or for some rides gone gone gone with no additional FP added.

    Hmm..honestly and I don't mean this the wrong way but I have never ever seen it were NO FPs were available period for any park in advance. I did however see it where during the first part of April (I think it may have been Easter week I can't remember honestly) a poster did mention that for same-day FP Epcot had at some point in the day stopped/had run out of FPs.

    In order for me to understand more your issue I would need to know what days in June you were going, how many people you are trying to get FPs for for your particular party, what attractions you are trying to get FPs for and what times you're trying to get FPs for. I can't play around with the system unfortunately though because I don't have any tickets linked to MDE but I'm just saying when someone says "there's no FP" it's usually more complicated that Disney literally has no FPs available to select in MDE.
     
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  16. MrInfinity

    MrInfinity DIS Veteran

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    I keep reading how you HAVE to book at 60 and 180 days. You really don't. We totally changed our trip around and booked our dining at 120 no problem. Today Magic Kingdom has every ride available for FastPass except the Mine Train, which makes sense considering it's still new. We could easily go tomorrow and be fine. It's interesting how people have become dependent on having booked elements and couldn't just have fun at Disney World without. As if it's a bust that you can't just show up and eat a Signature Service meal in the Disney Castle. What I think this points to, is that Disney has something for everyone. If you love planning, feel compelled to plan or need hard-to-get things to make your trip successful, Disney has the option for people to plan that stuff, and it's pretty easy to do on the website -- and then go in knowing you're getting something most guests will not. On the other hand if you don't need to eat at CRT and would be fine with waiting for the Mine Train then you can go last minute. You could book an entire trip 30-60 days out and get just about everything. Even the Mine Train and Frozen are easily available 30-60 out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  17. wisteria1019

    wisteria1019 A dream is a wish your heart makes

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    Yes, and when I was a child visiting for the first time in 1972, we purchased a ticket book with a limited number of options for tiered level attractions. There was no disembarking and running around to get back on. You had a choice of a specific number of attractions that you had to choose carefully from each level.
     
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  18. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Bring Back MARIE!

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    Admission was much lower then too. Not just because it was a long time ago, but because it did not assume unlimited access to all attractions.
     
  19. Court7321

    Court7321 Earning My Ears

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    It's definitely gotten more complicated to plan a Disney trip, however, where else is there to go in the world that is like Disney World? That is the question my husband and I always come back to when we're planning a vacation. We could go here, we could do that, but nowhere else has as much to do as Disney!
     
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  20. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    I don't think it's people's false expectations so much as people's lack of time researching and planning. They book a trip to Disney and they do expect it to be like your local Six Flags - they expect to walk into any restaurant and get a pager to wait for a table like you would at Applebee's, I'm sure people are floored to learn the restaurants take reservations and that people make them 180 days in advance. Unless you do some reading or talking to others who have gone, I can see why it wouldn't occur to some people.

    Absolutely. But not every family has a "next time" and those people are often disappointed. I do still think its ludicrous to not research a special/costly vacation, but I don't think those people shouldn't be allowed to be disappointed because of it. That said, it's not Disney's fault so the bad reviews are not warranted.
     
  21. Magrathea

    Magrathea Earning My Ears

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    The thought of planning a Disney trip was equally exciting and overwhelming for me. I put it off for a couple years, not for lack of trying, it was just something I could never follow through on and commit to. My DH is lovely, but planning a family trip is not his skill set. I can get easily overwhelmed because my schedule is busy, so it has been a lot time researching to keep costs down and organize our days to maximize our stay. I am not sure if I could have done it without the advice of some friends and these boards. I feel positive about our upcoming trip and am looking forward to plan our next Disney adventure.
     

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