Disney passholders feeling left out with program changes

Posted Monday, August 29, 2016 8:16 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Many Floridians' love affair with Disney has been soured by increasing prices and restrictions. Some have downgraded their passes to cheaper ones. Others are giving them up altogether. Financial results might be reflecting the trend. From April through June, 4 percent fewer visitors passed through the turnstiles of domestic Disney theme parks — while the resort's hotel occupancy rose 3 percent.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, September 2, 2016 9:47 AM

Sorry. I just have low expectations about visiting an amusement park.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 9:52 AM

Ooh ooh, now tell him to call the park to ask a question rather than discuss it here! I love that part.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 10:16 AM

Another thing to remember is the constant flexibility. You can cancel and reschedule all the way until the window is over. Many times I have snagged stuff like Seven Dwarfs, Test Track, and Rockin' Roller Coaster afternoon-of when the inventory reopens after a cancellation.

When we went, we wouldn't even always try and book a group of two. The way the system works, there may be one reservation available for Space Mountain from, say, 7:00-8:00 and another from 7:10-8:10. Put in a group of two and it will say nothing is available. But both of us would log in separately and snag it like that, then just use it during the overlap portion of the window. And with the five minutes early and ten minutes late grace periods, even if we got windows in seperate hours (say, one of us got 7-8 and the other got 8-9) we still had a large enough window to easily make it. Granted, that method isn't necessarily practical with a larger group or a group with young kids. But for two adults, we could mess around on our apps looking for availability as we were getting ready to go to the park and always find *something* worthwhile to book by the time we arrived.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 10:59 AM

slithernoggin said:

Oh no! Two rides, out of all the rides available at WDW's four parks, which have always had issues with throughput, have issues with throughput! How does that happen? Why not take the time, as a family, to wait on line for together as a family for these two rides if it's important to your family to ride these rides?

I was there last week when it's traditionally not busy, and the line for 7D was generally around 2 hours, and for PP around 90 minutes. I see no need to mock somebody or imply that he doesn't value spending time with his family because he wants to avoid long lines.

He's not trying a scam or anything. It's Disney's system, he's just trying to use it to get the most out of his vacation, you know, with his family. We're not talking about your local Six Flags where if the line's long you can go back another day or another 10 days this summer. This may be a once in a lifetime trip with all these generations traveling together, and he doesn't want to spend it in a queue.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 11:14 AM

Jeff said:

Are you trying to book the whole party? I just checked for my kid and I, and Splash and Space both have virtually any time we want, starting at 9:20 a.m.

Admittedly this is the first time using this process, so I appreciate all the tips.

No I'm trying to "modify" one person, using the advice that you gave me previously. From the website, it continually shows the 4 big attractions as not available for that day. Just tried again at 11:17 EDT and the screen still shows the big 4 (including Space and Splash as no longer available for that day).

Is there some trick to "clearing" cookies or something?

Is that the difference between one day tickets and annual passes?

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, September 2, 2016 11:21 AM
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Friday, September 2, 2016 11:27 AM

Just tried with a different browser, and the iPhone App, neither of which had ever been used for fastpass reservations. Same result.

Is "modifying" not the route to go?

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, September 2, 2016 11:37 AM
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Friday, September 2, 2016 11:30 AM

The site also gets picky about times. If you have a fast pass for 10:00 - 11:00, and another for 11:55 to 12:55, it won't show you anything available that would overlap either time slot, so any fast passes starting from 9:00 up until 12:55 won't show up in your modify options.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 11:33 AM

Ken P, thanks, I learned that quickly (!) this morning when making the first three reservations. However, when I'm trying to modify now, I'm deliberately picking a window outside the existing three blocks that we have (including the one hour window for the modified time itself). Still getting the "nothing available for Space and Splash", which is different than the wide open availability that Jeff was reporting.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, September 2, 2016 11:34 AM
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Friday, September 2, 2016 11:37 AM

kpjb said:

It's Disney's system...

Well, that's the thing, It's Disney's system. It's just hard for me to buy into the notion of people visiting an amusement park complaining about access to attractions. It's an amusement park. If you don't want to wait on line on stand-by and you don't want to buy into the company's upsell service, well.... don't wait for the attraction.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 11:57 AM

Slither: I know that being condemned to living in this world without reading comprehension skills sucks. I feel for you, I really do.

You wrote: "If you don't want to wait on line on stand-by and you don't want to buy into the company's upsell service, well.... don't wait for the attraction."

Last I checked, Disney doesn't offer an upsell service for a single day ticket, outside of the guided tour. If, there is such a device, please show me and I'll purchase it.

I'm not complaining about the FastPass system. My family and I were perfectly prepared (under the non FastPass+ model) to get to park at opening, bang a machine, do something, use the windowed FP, send the sherpa to bang the next machine, rinse and repeat, and have a decent time.

What I'm surprised about was on what appears to be a not uber crowded day, that FP for the two most popular attractions weren't even available at the 30 day mark. Again, let that sink in, they weren't even available to people who didn't buy multi day tickets or who weren't staying on property (or apparently for annual passholders). Two more of the most popular attractions evaporated (at least from my parties' ability) within 17 minutes (7:17 am EDT) on the 30 day mark. So, had I not been up and online at the window opening, we would have had no shot at FastPasses for 4 of the top attractions. I think that is problematic. In this scenario, we're attempting to use the system as intended, and being as pro-active as we can be, but the entire process is souring me on the WDW experience.

And as a final retort, I will avoid using Ms. Dunaway's other famous line, that she delivered in the board room, and instead opt for Christina's response; "I am not one of your fans".

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, September 2, 2016 12:10 PM
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Friday, September 2, 2016 12:33 PM

Try dropping the attraction you don't want entirely, then starting from the beginning to book that day. Still plenty of availability from my phone.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 12:44 PM

Oh man. All I can imagine here is you guys uncovering some crazy **** where Disney offers FastPasses to certain guests but not to others.

(which wouldn't surprise me one bit)

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Friday, September 2, 2016 1:56 PM

I get everything I want at Disney. They seem to love me.

Maybe I haven't told you this before, but I'm very, very wealthy

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Friday, September 2, 2016 2:29 PM

Oh, do you have a spare room filled with bags of money, too?

High five!

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Friday, September 2, 2016 2:37 PM

RCMAC said:

Maybe I haven't told you this before, but I'm very, very wealthy

Is that a roll of silver dollars in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

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Friday, September 2, 2016 2:53 PM

Another thread just BEGGING for the Scrooge McDuck skiing picture....

P.S. A roll of silver dollars beats a roll of Mentos any day....unless there's a 2-liter of Diet Coke handy.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 3:05 PM

Shades said:

Is that a roll of silver dollars in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

Yes, and yes.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 4:02 PM

CreditWh0re said:

...that FP for the two most popular attractions weren't even available at the 30 day mark.

I guess that's where I get pulled up short -- at a resort with four amusement parks plus two water parks plus Disney Springs plus Fantasia Gardens plus Winter Summerland plus the monorail plus whatever amenities exist if you're staying on-property at one of the hotels -- the idea that a successful family vacation relies on riding one or two specific rides escapes me. Why not just enjoy being together as a family?

Last edited by slithernoggin, Friday, September 2, 2016 4:17 PM
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Friday, September 2, 2016 4:28 PM

You can enjoy your family in a lot cheaper places, I imagine.

Peter Pan definitely has a weird allocation. I can get it for tomorrow if I wanted it.

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Friday, September 2, 2016 4:39 PM

^^ I'm thinking those rides are an issue because if a family expects to only go to Disney only once ever, which is the realistic truth for many families, they either get that ride in now or never. It's got to be frustrating to plan a once in a lifetime trip knowing you aren't going to get all the desired activities in because of the way the system works. Whether it's fair or not means nothing to me because I don't have any plans to ever go to Disney though I find it interesting that different availability is showing for two different people who in theory should be seeing the same spots open. You have to wonder what it is creating that situation.

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