When to throw in the towel?

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by b5sgqueen, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    I'm looking for a little general advice(or maybe a pep talk).
    Backstory: My partner's annual conference is being held in WDW this year. I have not been since I was a little girl, 20 years ago. He will be in sessions all day but I figured I'd tag along for the free room and get a discounted ticket and spend a few days in Disney. I've been on these boards for awhile, trying to figure out strategy.
    His conference is at the Swan and Dolphin but they made rooms available for the same price at the Yacht Club. I told him to try to get a room there as I knew it was better(thank you disboards). The planning committee said that everyone in his track has to sat at the Dolphin because too many people wanted the Yacht club. Ok, so already no MDE or magic band, but fine.
    No one can book rooms themselves, they have to put a request in on the Swan's website, but the catch is you can't actually put anything in your request except that you want a room, Swan or Dolphin and your cc#, not dates or anything and they will get back to you in 72 hours. He puts the request in and 6 days later gets an e-mail that says there are no rooms available. He starts scrambling, then gets an e-mail that says he has been booked for the entirety of the room rate block, which includes pre and post conference events(that he will not be attending) as well as shoulder days for people who want to stay extra. He does not want this. Oh, they put him at the Swan when he requested Dolphin.
    It also hasn't allowed for him to state that another person will be coming.
    At the same time a colleague of his gets a one day charge for a room, a day later she gets charged for half her stay and they day after that gets charged for her full stay. These are not pre-paid rooms and have a free 24 hour cancellation fee and, by the way, a bunch of people coming work for state governments that have rules that say you can only put a one day pre-charge on state cards, and, oh, BTW, the Swan never said they were charging people. My partner's cc thinks there is fraud going on because of a similar set of circumstances.
    The Swan/Dolphin is unreachable.
    I start talking about the great customer service that Disney is renowned for. Skepticism reigns.
    My partner cannot find a way to add me to the reservation and all the links he has been sent about buying Disney tickets are broken.
    Oh, and each additional person in the room is $25/night for the entirety of the conference attendees stay, not the additional adult stay nights(so if my partner stays 6 days, but I stay 4 we would still owe an additional $150, not $100). This pretty much negates any discount on tickets I would get.
    His conference is scrambling to fix things but no one seems to know what to do and the Swan/Dolphin is not helping. I'm not close enough to anyone to point out the severe issues with the system that have developed.
    Furthermore, we're quickly closing in on the 60 days out mark so we would need to figure out a way to add me to the reservation, buy my ticket and link things up so I would be able to make FP reservations. I'm not sure this is even feasible in this time frame and given the poor service and slow response.
    I had also mentioned to my partner and his colleagues about dinning reservations being made at 180 days and FP reservations at 60 days as many are bringing families. Now, I have managed to start a panic as no one had done a ton of research and assumed that, because this was Disney, it wouldn't be that difficult.
    Now, the conference attendees have no idea where they are going to eat breakfast on their allotted per diem(90% of attendees work for the state) and breakfast is triple what they are allowed or if they will be able to get dinner anywhere because of lack of ADRs.

    I know this is really long, but I guess my question is, when do I throw in the towel and say I'm not going?
    FPs for FOP, SDD and 7DMT are important as I am an adult by myself who hates lines so that 60 days out booking was something I knew I was going to need to do. There is also a DAH event one of the nights in MK that looks really cool.
    I have gotten really excited about this, even though I am an adult who will be solo, but the issues with service, the fact I may not make the booking window and the added cost of transport, magic band and $25/night is making me rethink this whole thing, but I will not have another shot at WDW for a few years at the very least.

    I am just looking for some advice and I apologize if this is in the wrong thread.
     
  2. Corwin

    Corwin DIS Veteran

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    If I were you, I would definitely go and simply try to make the best of it. Do the best you can with the constraints you are being given. Don't get too worried if you can't get every FastPass or ADR you might want. Plan on going again sometime in the future on a trip without these constraints.

    Besides, you might be pleasantly surprised that you end up getting much of what you want anyway on this trip.
     
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  4. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    I don't stay in the hotels or use the ADRs ever (we bring our own food in 98% of the time), but having said that I would walk into WDW right this moment with no pre-made plans and have a blast. If you're going to be in the parks yourself, you should be able to get a FP+ for pretty much anything. 7DMT for sure, and I'd bet with a little effort even SDD and FoP. I know from experience in the 2% of the time that we don't bring our own food in that we've been able to go to sit down restaurants in the World Showcase with no reservations. Or you can just do QS places, plenty of them around. MBs are like $15, so just buy one...or you don't even have to have it anyway.

    If it were me, I'd go in a heartbeat.
     
  5. Mr. Drauer

    Mr. Drauer Mouseketeer

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    sounds like a lot of this is on the convention planning staff at the Dolphin/Swan, which by the way are not Disney properties and not staffed by cast members. You do not need a magic band - any ticket you buy online can be accessed by a hard ticket you get from guest services, and MDE is simply the online place to keep all your info, which also can be accessed by a hard ticket or magic band. You can get FP for any ride day of for a single person, just takes a little time refreshing. There is plenty of affordable dining both at the resorts and parks. Dolphin has Picabu, which is a 24 hour cafeteria that you can get all kinds of stuff at, from single servings of cereal for breakfast to whole pizzas for dinnner. there is also a small breakfast area in the Swan that has pastries and coffee to get on the go in the morning, and every conference I've been to there serves continental type breakfast and coffee each morning. I'm sure they don't plan on the entire conference eating all of the meals at Shulas.

    like others said, just go and make the best of it.
     
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  6. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

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    You can use MDE with a swan stay - we're staying at the Dolphin this month and I have it added to my account. It wasn't automatic, but I was able to add it about a week after we made the reservation with the confirmation #. I can't imagine first week of February is so crazy that you wouldn't be able to get ANY reservations or FP+ choices. My husband and I booked a stay over the first weekend in October with less than 30 days to go and I was able to scramble together everything we wanted with the exception of FoP. We could have gone at rope drop and done standby but I knew we were going back so we just skipped it. We didn't get a FP+ for the SDMT until we were in the park but checking for it paid off.
     
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  7. Brett Wyman

    Brett Wyman Mouseketeer

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    Don't stress over the 60 day window. Especially travelling solo. You'll be able to fast pass nearly anything day of. As mentioned MDE can be linked to your Swan/Dolphin when you receive the confirmation number and if you really want a MB you can buy one and link that to MDE as well (just no charges back to the hotel via MB at Dolphin/Swan).

    We are a family of 4, and recently changed our minds about which parks we were going to on which day during our last trip. We re-fast passed everything the day before and got everything we wanted. People get too uptight about FP windows :duck:. With a little refreshing of MDE in the park you can get what you want outside of maybe FOP/SDD (and those pop up too!).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  8. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the others. I wouldn't stress the FP+ or any ADR's especially with a party of one in the parks and a party of 2 for meals. Some of the best restaurants on property are at Swan/Dolphin and they are available to book by calling directly or going on opentable. Fresh, Garden Grove and Kimono's are walk-ups and I've gotten same day reservations at both Il Mulino and blue zoo (literally made a reservation as I was walking to the restaurant). I've made night before and same-day reservations for WDW restaurants on every trip. We've never gone hungry. And, as a party of 1, your chance of snagging hard-to-get FP+ the night before or even day-of are quite good. And if you can't get one, simply go to the hard-to-get rides at rope drop. I just booked a last minute, party of 1, trip to WDW for one night in January and got Storybook Dining for myself and FEA in EP. I also went with a party of 6 in November and ended up changing plans (and even park days) while there - I got same day FOP passes and 7DMT the night before. Really, you'll be fine.
     
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  9. chris benton

    chris benton DIS Veteran

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    Just logging in to say to the OP - don't worry about the farce of WDW 180 adr's unless you need CRT or Ohana - maybe only a few more hard to get ones...ESPECIALLY if you are staying at Swan/Dolphin - they have some of the best restaurants in all of WDW, and since they are not on the Dining Plan, and are not Disney owned, most people ignore them. There are reservation finders for adr's as well, and they work fine for a LOT of ppl - I use them and generally always get exactly what I want without fail. I just don't even worry about adr's anymore - I'm gonna get whatever I want. I'd suggest asking specific questions in the Swan / Dolphin thread in the Resorts section for more thoughts specifically on their restaurants. I'm a big fan of those resorts.

    As for your issues with the resort ressies, I got nothin. I've only had pretty smooth experiences, but I've never gone with a conference.
     
  10. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Unfortunately, they do not serve breakfast to the 3000+ attendees so that is going to be a madhouse, but I will definitely let my partner know about the options for him.
     
  11. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

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    Thank you everyone so far for the reassurance. I have been reading these threads and assume that a massive, forward planning effort is really needed, but I guess I didn't really think as much about the fact that being on my own makes things a little simpler.

    I confused MDE with magical express I'm afraid.

    Thanks for the tip on not needing ADRs at Swan/Dolphin. I didn't know that so it makes things a little less stressful. ADRs for me in the parks aren't as big of thing(though I would like to see BOG) as I don't mind eating counter service/snacks. I just know that several people attending the conference proper are starting to freak out about dinning options within budget.

    It's just been one of those things where it feels like obstacles are building and you wonder if the universe is telling you something. I've been hyperfocused on the 60 day FP booking window that when started to look unattainable I had to wonder if I should even try it. I guess I have read where there are people who go to WDW and don't even know what a FP is so I would still have a leg up.
     
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  12. bigeyedfish

    bigeyedfish Mouseketeer

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    I just want to add that I had a hard time finding ADRs for our January trip (booked after the 180 day mark), but as our trip nears I have found reservations easier and easier to make. We are a party of 5 and I’ve been able to find BOG (all meals), Akershus dinner, Garden Grill PPO Breakfast, Tusker House PPO Breakfast, etc. I haven’t seen any CRT reservations open up and I’m having a hard time finding the time I need for 1900 Park Fare, but even if they never open up we’ll still have plenty of options! GL!
     
  13. Melissa Perez

    Melissa Perez Mouseketeer

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    I don't remember who said it, but it rings true for me...

    A day spent at Disney is better than a day spent anywhere else

    :thumbsup2
     
  14. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy A Pirate's Life For Me

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    I agree with everyone else here. I have stayed at Swan and Dolphin, which would be why I find them to good choices for me - close to two of the four parks.

    But they are not Disney. So no knocks on Disney in this case.

    I do not understand about $25 for a second person - it must be a conference thing. That does not usually kick in until you have a 3rd adult in a room.

    Being solo changes EVERYTHING. I agree with others you can chill and things will work out. I have had luck multiple times getting FPs for 7DMT. I do not think that will be a problem. The two that will be a challenge after 60 days are FOP and (it sounds) SDD (I have not done yet that myself).

    You will have EMH, and you can easily do both FOP and SDD first thing at rope drop on an EMH day or non-EMH day. So worst case is you need to get to those parks a little earlier.

    If it were me I would not stress about the 60 days. If you cannot get your trip confirmed at 60 days, and you want to be ultra-cautious on making a hard commitment to go (by buying a park ticket), I would wait until you are 100% sure you are going. And work from there.

    Forget ADRs for anyone else not you, LOL. And for you you can make those now without a room. Then cancel them at no charge if your trip falls through.

    Chill. Relax. Really. You will be fine. :thumbsup2

    :wizard:
     
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  15. chris benton

    chris benton DIS Veteran

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    I'd almost assume that you'll be able to get extra fastpasses for anything and everything if you're going to a park alone. If you want BOG, I'd suggest signing up for a reservation finder. I've never really found BOG hard to get on the app. I've never really tried. I just sign up for a res finder and always get it.
     
  16. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

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    Just some other thoughts regarding dining as you mentioned attendees need to stay within a certain budget - both Big River Grille and ESPN on the Boardwalk take walk-ups and are a bit more affordable than most other WDW TS. There is also the Boardwalk Bakery and some QS booths on the Boardwalk and the Market at YC and the Marketplace at BC (all QS). If the attendees have park tickets and want to walk into EP WS in the evenings there are a ton of great QS in EP. For those who would like ADR's, they can make them now as it sounds like you are well within 180 days. If you would like BOG, I would simply go onto the website and search for a party of 1 for any meal. If you can't find one now, just keep checking.
     
  17. JenStork

    JenStork Earning My Ears

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    Also, if you don’t get FP, my group often does the single rider line and the wait is usually minimal or none at all.
     
  18. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    I would stop stressing go on the trip, and let the days just work out. Going solo is way different than trying to plan a family trip and ensureing everyone is happy. I am a planner in the sense that I like booking ADR's 180 days out, and plan FP and park days, but I really would not do this if I was entering WDW as a solo adult who has not been back in years.

    There is so much to enjoy without even stepping foot on one attraction that while I would try to get FP I would not worry if I could not found exactly what i was looking for. I would either move to ta queue that was shorter or I would simply wait in SB and enjoy all the details surrounding me. Honestly, if you miss something, and you will, it is not going anywhere. You wil have enjoyed something else. WDW is not about attractions or must do dining, IMO. It is about nostalgia, details that are tucked into every aspect of every park, and about being in the moment.

    Go and have fun!
     
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  19. OldSchoolReasons

    OldSchoolReasons DIS Veteran

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    First up - go!

    Also don't sweat if you can't get a FOP fastpass - there is a not advertised single rider line which is the same as the FP queue. A woman in front of us used it.
     
  20. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy A Pirate's Life For Me

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    I thought the FOP SR line - which was in fact built and had a sign on opening day - has never been used. Has that changed?

    :wizard:
     
  21. sha9gavin

    sha9gavin Earning My Ears

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    Just go for it without stressing over the preliminary stuff. You'll have a blast just taking it all in and being spontaneous. It can be done!
     

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