Disney World is driving me crazy – PREP060

Disney World has been making too many unpleasant changes and performing crazy tests and it's driving me crazy for people who are traveling in late 2014.

Today, I have some rants about those things as well as some proposed solutions to some of them.

I also have a quick tip of the day on getting Free Dining for 2015.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Issues with Disney World

Preface: many of these are temporary, due to testing and an in-between phase as some rides/entertainment get removed and new stuff gets added. I get that, but feel for the people who are taking a trip right in the middle of it.

Issues at Magic Kingdom

  • Be Our Guest only allowing people in if they have a FastPass+ (have a backup plan if you had your heart set on eating there)
  • Premium events being offered during parties that are held at Magic Kingdom

Issues at Epcot

  • Maelstrom closure
  • Removing Off Kilter, Fife and Drum Corps, Mo'Rockin, and World Showcase Players. Though Disney is bringing new entertainment to the World Showcase, the first one to be introduced (this lumberjack act) doesn't appear to be up to Disney World's standards.

    hqdefault - Disney World is driving me crazy - PREP060

Issues at Hollywood Studios

  • Closure of Backlot Tour and American Idol Experience (though new things will eventually be opened, having two options taken away in this relatively small park is noticeable)
  • FastPass+ only tests at Toy Story Mania - although it was only a temporary test, it could have been handled in a better way. If you've only got 1 day to spend at Hollywood Studios and Disney surprises you with the fact that only FastPass+ holders can ride, that's really disappointing.
  • Frozen premium holiday event - $89 to see the sing-along and eat desserts while watching the Osborne Lights does not seem like a good value. Instead, get a FastPass+ for the sing-along and enjoy the lights the last 30 minutes that the park is open while eating a cupcake from Starring Rolls Cafe.

Quick tip of the day

Bounceback offers are promotions that are usually found in folders in Disney World resort rooms (if you don't find one, dial 8844 from your room phone to ask what's available).

They are often good deals that you can take advantage of if you book your next trip while still at Disney World. Currently, the offer is for Free Dining for fall 2015 (get more details on the offer).

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Jen

Great podcast pointing out problems. Disney needs to listen to its people! I’m so thankful we went ahead & went last Dec for our lo’s 1st birthday. We were in the fast pass + test group so we had a very easy week. But we did have some issues with the website & the ap in planning. We’re not going again until May 2016 so they better get it all fixed by then

Kendall

Just listening to the podcast on my Apple TV. But we were a bit confused by your comments that lumberjacks are more American than Canadian. Even the term “lumberjack” is Canadian. hmmmm

Kendall

Yup, that is true. I’m sure it’s easier (and cheaper) to have an American company provide the show. Oh, well. I believe that few of the musicians in the last show were Canadian, either. By the way, I’m Canadian and the movie thing that they show in the Canadian pavilion is awful; I won’t go see it a second time unless I’m with people who insist. It’s quite embarrassing.

Michele

FYI – The FastPass for BOG was for lunch. Dinner at BOG is still be reservations. They were testing the Toy Story Mania FastPass only last week which disappointed many people. For the FastPass+ it is a little complicated in how you can use them. When you make the picks prior to your trip you can make up to 3 picks in one park for each day. After you use these passes then you have to go to a kiosk in the park to add 1 pass at a time. So if you make a pick for a FastPass for… Read more »

Patricia Melson

We started making all our plans in May hotel park tickets dining when it was available in September I started looking at my Disney experience and Disney had us linked to someone else with the same name but different address and email account after 2 hours oh the phone got it corrected or I thought so. Last week went on there again and still had 1 day not right after 70 minutes with a person I could not understand and on hold most of that time still no luck. All they will say is call make and maybe a time… Read more »

Sharon R

Is Starring Rolls Cafe even open the “last 30 minutes that the park is open”?

Roxanne

With these closures, what is your estimate on the amount of time it will take Disney to replace them with new attractions?

Katie Robinson

Great podcast! Is the Frozen Sing-a-long a Tier 1 or Tier 2 FP?

kasie

Currently a tier 2

JoAnn James

For those of you who have multiple trips booked, PLEASE do yourself a favor and make sure they have the proper tickets booked to the correct reservation. I would make sure that they check everything at the desk when checking in. I did online check in to save time and I spent my time at Guest Relations at MK instead. My friend and I just returned from a week at WDW (mom’s trip. . daddy’s and kids stayed home 🙂 ) ANYWAY. . although I made sure that our dinning, Not So Scary, park tix and everything were linked to… Read more »

Lisa

Thank you for the validation!!! Planning our Thanksgiving trip has been a nightmare. Our extended family has been saving for two years for a “once in a lifetime” trip to Disney because they knew how much we love it there. Now I am trying to plan a trip that will live up to those expectations and finding it impossible. The emh changes, the closures, the way it’s now impossible to get BOG or the big FP+’s unless you’re staying onsite. Each time I’ve tried to stay positive, but these FP tests have done me in. It’s frustrating that we have… Read more »

Suzanne Weaver

I totally agree with all of your “problematic” points with WDW in today’s podcast. We will be at WDW 10/23 – 11/2 and sadly (1) staying off-site (2) in the midst of all of the Disney “changes”. This is the first time we have planned a visit with so many changes going on at WDW and like your title “Disney World is driving me crazy” also!!!! Because we are staying off property, we were unable to get the FP+ reservations we had hoped to at the 30 day mark…. keeping our fingers crossed that we can add rides to our… Read more »

Candace

I didn’t realize FP+ wasn’t being offered after October for BOG! I guess I will quit logging on to check if any are available for our trip in November…

Candace

… Alright, I logged on again and can see the calendar up to Nov 16 and was able to get a FP+ for the 11th. I read on another forum that 27 days in advance seems to be the magic number, any truth to this? I’m hoping to get the 16th so I’m going to keep checking back anyways.

kasie

I am starting to hate the website. My current issue is the inability to see my tickets correctly. When you go into your reservation tab it shows both reservations I have (two rooms same time) but I can’t see all the tickets on my account but on a linked account I can. And the chat help just told me to call to get help because their fixes didn’t work and they couldn’t do more. If it was easy to make a phone call about it I would have done that first. Now I have to hope I can get in… Read more »

Sudcaro

I feel your pain. I called the MDE hotline twice today, obviously there are issues on their side too. My park entrance doesn’t show anywhere on my account so I can’t get started with FP+ – and we’ll be there in less than 50 days!
It’s exasperating.

kasie

I at least have a work around right now. Even though it doesn’t show up on my account it does on my Father-in-law’s. So if worse comes to worse I can do everything through his account. So maybe if you create an account for someone else in your group it might show up through them?

Sudcaro

It didn’t show on my husband’s account either. But now it is fixed, and I was able to get some FPs, at last! (although the one we really hoped for was gone…)

kasie

Just keep trying and you might get some pixie dust tossed your way and get a FP when someone else changes their plans.

There just seem to be a lot of examples of Disney trying to fix things that aren’t broken.

Phil

Thank you for the great Podcast. You are so correct as we travel to the world every 2-3 years due to cost. We live in California and the airfare is what kills us from going more often. Though we live in California most people think we would just go to Disneyland. The land is not the same as the world in things to do and even my kids who are 8 and 12 say they would rather pass on land to save for the world. So, thanks again and agree on all items you mentioned. Thanks for going a little… Read more »

Nicole

Thank you for putting a voice to concerns thousands of us felt last week. While we were fortunate to have fastpasses for most of the problem areas, I did feel like we chose a bummer of a week to visit. I can only hope Disney hears our discontent and scales back the amount of testing and closures they heap on guests at once in the future.

Amy Avery

I just booked our FP+ for HS a week ago and we decided to do RR instead of TSMM with the thought that we could do standby. So it is disappointing that that might not be able to happen. Same goes with BOG. If we don’t get a FP+ or an invite, we won’t be able to go there either. Hopefully they will get all of these bugs worked out soon! Thankfully we did get the FP+ for the Frozen sing along, we will stop and visit every pastry shop we see, and linger along the streets for the Osborne… Read more »

Sudcaro

I have heard about all this and it is heartbreaking to see how complicated things are. I was dreaming of taking my little girl to BOG… now I guess it won’t happen… I honestly think FPs are making things very unfair, especially for people who can’t get to go to WDW often. On a side note… There also are lots of issues with the MDE website, things are not explained clearly! We are first timers, definitely newbies on MDE, and in a terrible mess right now (we can’t link my park entrance to the account, among other things). Maybe you… Read more »

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