A recent thread that's been on my mindso,

I’ve been processing for some time the threads on leading/overlapping reservations, and the ongoing inquiries to continue to find whatever loophole might still remain even as Disney starts to crack down.

I’ve read and re-read some of the feedback I received for making a comment about how this practice can be summarized as: someone getting something of value that he/she didn’t pay for. Responses came in like: hey, don’t judge…1) they are trying to get a higher ROI on their vacation, 2) they are just taking advantage of any hack available, 3) my family can’t afford a longer vacation and any rides my kids miss is a major dissappointment so I’ll use whatever means is at my disposal, and 4) Disney plays games so we they have every right to play games back, etc.

I’m offering up an alternate perspective for consideration:

This practice doesn’t seem to me to be taking something from Disney corporation itself… isn’teally taking directly from other guests, and actually increasing their costs? As an example: my last visit was 4 years ago and we stayed off property. I decided then that when I came back, I would stay on property, and for a longer stay, mostly b/c of my experience Rope Dropping 7DMT, where a FP of course is never available at the 30 day offsite FP window. Now I’m planning an 8 night trip on property. Yet, there’s much chatter that at 60-3, FOP is tricky and at 60-4 and 5, SDD is still tricky. Gosh knows what Star Wars will eventually look like! I even caught myself thinking about paying for a campground or value resort for a day or two before arrival to improve my odds. (I do NOT want to do that, but it seriously crossed my mind especially from a Stars Wars perspective). As I started to wrap my arms around this leading res concept (which I had not even heard of before my last trip) it dawned on me that one of the reasons for the lack of FP availablity even very far out has to be that we are competing with all the paying customers who have longer trips than the average visitor (i.e. 10, 12, 14 days +) and also an unknown number of phantom, non paying 10, 12, 14 day trip customers too. There is a cost to move from offsite to on property, there is a cost to plan a longer trip, there are costs to create a schedule where some of the harder to get FP rides are planned for later in the stay. Of course, there would also be a direct incremental cost to pay for 2 or more advance nights at a campsite or priceline onsite hotel deal to make our 60-4 day, 60-6 instead.

Going to great lengths to get something that is expensive/costs money (that others pay for) and that one has no intention of paying for seems bigger than just saying it’s a legitimate exploitation of a loophole.

I really value this forum, both for the wonderful trip it gave my family to WDW in 2015, and then to DLR in 2017, and now again for a trip next year. Res finder, FP4Me, buying tickets from Undercover Tourist, etc.

As such, I value the thoughts and perspectives of folks, maybe helping me looki at this through another lens?

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Like you, I don’t particularly like the fact that people use leading reservations. For a while I avoided threads, even muted them. However I came to the conclusion that it as not worth getting worked up over. Here are some reasons why:

  1. There are very, very few people who do it. Only very committed forum users who are really only wanting to be able to get FPs for the big rides. The vast majority of onsite guests don’t.

  2. The main way people used to gain an FP advantage was closed. That was a one night stay which allowed them a rolling 60 day window for all subsequent days that they stayed offsite.

  3. There are “features” in the FP system that are allowed, such as booking for friends who are staying offsite whilst you stay at WDW. Those are allowed and even encouraged. But others may see them as cheating.

  4. There are thousands of guests staying onsite at any one time. Your biggest block to getting FPs are those who check in a few days before you. Whether they are staying 3 nights or 21, they have an advantage over you for your first few days. Obviously those staying longer have the biggest advantage. And those who booked a leading reservation are just a drop in the ocean of onsite guests.

  5. This is the main one for me. I realised it was being disingenuous of me to criticise others for trying to plan the best vacation for their family, when I don’t have that problem. We usually stay 11 days or more. When I plan, I can plan 2 or 3 days in each park, and that means I have more time to get the hard FPs and can FP anything my family would really like to do. That’s my “cheat”. I realised there are plenty of people who would love to be in that position.

I hope this helps. Whilst I still don’t particularly like the fact it happens, I let it go. Disney have started closing some of these loopholes. This one may also close. And I post on here when I see certain things happening, like FPs being cancelled because I don’t want other “liners” to be unaware of it.

If you can’t “let it go”, then you can do what I did for a while.You can “mute” a thread, so you don’t get alerts etc on it. If you scroll to the bottom of a thread, under the line with the REPLY button, thee is a little circle with “Normal” next to it. If you click on that, you get several options. Click on “Muted” and then at least you won’t get alerts and you don’t see that there are new posts etc. You can just ignore it altogether for as long as you want. Then you might eventually return it to “Normal” like I did.

I hope this helps. :slightly_smiling_face:

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You have voiced your perspective, which I think is important, and so now I would do what you can to, as @nickysyme said, just let other’s choices go :slight_smile: I personally draw the line at anything that requires me to do or say something I know is not true (lying about my child’s age to save money, making a reservation I know I have no intention of using/paying for, etc.). But, for example, there is one dinner of our trip that I genuinely don’t know where we are going to want to eat yet. I have two reservations for that one dinner. As soon as we decide, I will cancel one. I have one breakfast where I wasn’t able to get my first choice and so I have an ADR for our second. Reservation finder is looking for the other one for me. When it finds it, I’ll cancel the other. But beyond little examples like that, the reality is, not in any unethical way, I already have a ton of advantages over most of the folks who are at Disney or would like to be. I can afford a trip to Disney. I can afford to stay on property. I can afford to go for long enough to have a day in each park and rest days at the resort. I use TPs and the info I gather from folks on this Forum to make the most of those days in ways that probably honestly give us the greatest (I would argue even more than staying on property) advantage over those who are in the parks with us. I have time and resources to carefully plan a year in advance… I could go on and on. Yes, we work hard to earn the money to do this and live far below our means in our everyday life because we love taking nice vacations and are saving for them. But I know plenty of people who work VERY hard and carefully use ever dollar they earn and cannot take the vacation we are taking. Ethics matter. I don’t want to suggest they don’t. But I also don’t want to let other people’s choices ruin my vacation or even the planning of my vacation which I enjoy almost as much as the trip itself. Some might look at our situation with envy. But my husband and I desperately wanted children for years. The Lord gave us two miracles. There is a huge part of me that wishes I had so many children that I couldn’t afford a Disney vacation or couldn’t afford to stay on property. But I don’t and I am going to try me best to enjoy the incredibly blessed life I have been given with our little family of four no matter what others are doing around me. I hope you enjoy your planning and your vacation.

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I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to plan a trip to wdw. It is important to me to know everything about how Disney’s systems work so that I can help others plan their magical vacation. Honestly, I have never used any of these “tricks”. Funny, I shared my old used tickets with liners when that used to work for FPs, but I never used them myself. I love the challenge of planning a trip where my family thinks I am a genius, and knowing anyone could do it. I have this luxury since I go to Disney on a regular basis. If this is a “once in a lifetime” or once in every five years trip for people on this forum, I will try to help any time I can. There are other members of this forum that go often and use these strategies and I fully support their ability to plan their own magical trip (and I love that it may be nothing like mine).

I expect that some of these “hacks” will not work in upcoming months, but new ones will emerge. I hope I can learn those quickly.

There are some people here that will tell you, “Disney is for kids. Adults should let my kid always cut in front or do this or that…”. I don’t see things that way- but I respect their right to be so very wrong :grinning:

I hope you enjoy planning your trip. If you need any help- let me know. I love to give opinions! You can completely ignore me if you want!

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Yes. This is precisely my problem. Disney is not generally harmed but the practices, but other guests following the “rules” are.

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Thanks everyone! I am letting it go for sure. I agree it’s probably a drop in the bucket…and there are many other things in life to spend time worrying about. Every time a new thread popped up about it I got distracted :),

I myself have stumbled very recently into a health scare that isn’t breaking in a good direction. When I started planning this trip I was blissfully unaware that I’d be experiencing this crisis, but my continuing to plan this vacation these last 3 weeks has had the unexpected benefit of keeping my mind off it (and for my sanity’s sake helps me avoid spending nights on WebMD). That’s a rabbit hole for sure…

I’ve actually done all the planning I can right now…I love the arc of my current plan! The good/news bad news of it all is that I may have to move up the trip timing considerably, which has its own complications, especially as it relates to our original plan to rent points for DVC. I’ll know in a few weeks if I need to activate Plan B, and then I’m sure I’ll be here looking for every available piece of advice on tips to plan on the fly - in the melting heat of the summer!

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Be well. :heart:

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Our recent May 4-10th visit was our 2nd visit ever to WDW. (We are Californians so DLR is always our first go-to for cost savings and true experience). Our first WDW visit was in 2011. My DD19 and I decided our vacation quite late in the “game” booking our resort package in mid Feb. 2019. Luckily I had about 2 weeks to get up to speed on the details of FPPs reservations. I greatly thank all you liners for your help. I didn’t learn any “tricks” until after all my FPP & ADR ressies were made, and I am glad I didn’t. I already felt a bit guilty (more like a guilty pleasure) that I was able to score FPPs for FoP and 7DMT as a result of a glitch in the system about a week before my 60 day window opened. Did I take these FPPs from another family who may have deserved them? I didn’t even think about it. I was basking in my good fortune. I didn’t know about the glitch because someone else told me. I discovered it myself when I was playing around with my DME and my window just popped open and closed quickly after only 2 acquisitions. In addition, without the help of a glitch, I was able to get ADRs that worked for our schedule because I was visiting in a lower CL season of early May, I wanted late dinner times, and there were only 2 of us. I too got irked reading about others using throwaway resort ressies and booking multiple dining reservations because they can’t make up their mind. But at least those dinning ressies will be released eventually, but that still makes others planning difficult. There will always be people that go at lengths to game the system, and Disney is on to them.

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I pray you find a u-turn immediately! Disney travel or not!!!

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This post made my heart swell.

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Indeed.

I think it’s difficult to criticise the choices others have made without on some level being inconsistent yourself.

I mentioned yet another upcharge event I’d signed myself up for in a thread some time ago and someone made what seemed like a snarky comment about how they wished they had as much money as me.

But of the five trips I’ve done or have planned, two were off-property, two were / will be at Pop, a value resort, and one is at CSR, but only because it was cheaper for some reason than Pop: I guess I got a deal.

My point being that I don’t in general chose to stay at moderate or deluxe resorts at WDW. I can’t afford them and, besides, I’d rather spend the money on upcharge events.

Is it cheating to book a CL room at a Deluxe and book three extra FPPs for $50 a day? Of course not. Those are the rules. But then is it “fair” that some people earn so much more money than others, despite not obviously making a greater contribution to society or to the sum of human happiness.

I’m never really convinced by the argument that there’s a mythical family who’s been screwed over by someone’s wickedness in playing the system. Last summer I booked one night at an All-Star to give myself an early booking window for my FPPs. The All-Star resorts have well over five thousand rooms between them. I booked one. For one night. I’d like to meet the family who were wholly unable to vacation at WDW last summer because of my shocking selfishness.

As soon as I’d got what I needed from the room I cancelled it. Which cost me about $65. Money for nothing for WDW to spend on — what? — improvements to the overall guest experience for everyone. I’d like to meet the family who ended up staying in that room — they must have booked a last minute trip and were thrilled there was availability just when they wanted it. I’ll introduce them to the other family.

Of course, people like me shouldn’t be allowed to stay on property at all. Single people use a room all for themselves when it could accommodate four people. That’s not right, surely?

Yet those four people pay the same that we single people pay. So each person pays one quarter. That’s not fair.

I’ve booked, paid for, and stayed in rooms but not used the pool, on occasion. Or DME. Or the buses. Yet I wasn’t offered a partial refund. The people who were using the pool had a much less crowded experience, thanks to me. (I take up a lot of space. Also, no-one wants to see me in a swimming costume.)

Anyone who uses these forums is cheating. You paid extra to get extra information. It gave you an advantage over other people. Shame on you!

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I sometimes find the trick threads amusing. Like watching a car wreck I guess. I can’t explain it really.

I play the scruples game wondering “if I had the money, would I?” The answer is almost always no. Darn Jimney Cricket conscience. Some tricks make my teeth grind because I can see how they’d affect me directly. I am that poor family affected by rich people buying 3 extra FPP at CL. And that’s the legal trick!
:sob:

Still, I know I’m incredibly lucky. I am far better off than 99.7% of Mexicans simply because I know English and can read the UG and this site. Let’s not go into how blessed I am to simply be able to actually go to Disney and how many Mexicans will never be able to. I have never had a terrible day at WDW -extra FPP or not. I’ve RD’d FoP since I hardly ever can afford to stay onsite. I’ve only ever been to 4 ADRs.

And that’s when I realize that the tricks and perks don’t really affect me. I am not that miserable family getting robbed of the stay at All Stars. I’m the lucky family who knows how to beat the odds and not get affected by the tricks and perks!

One must do what one’s conscience dictates and try to make it the best trip you can. I shall not be the one to judge you ‘cause I’ll be busy looking for a Haunted Mansion FPP that’ll make me really happy.

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I think this is a really important point. Paying more — or playing the system — gets you cherries on top of the icing. But everyone gets icing.

Everyone gets this, for example. And, for me at least, this is a huge part of the whole trip.

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So well said! I think it is important to remember that you can have a wonderful vacation without all the extras. I absolutely love this site, but sometimes it can make my fear of missing out worse.

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That is now a reserved viewing area. $29.95 plus tax per sigh and/or emotional tear shed. But if you reserve a PPO BoG breakfast you can complain and they’ll offer you an extra anytime FPP for this view.

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That’s funny because it’s true.

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This is really pretty simple. Any planning tactics that are contrary to the rules or at least the spirit of the rules are dishonest. Does this mean these are bad people? Of course not. But some people are performing a number of mental gymnastics in order to rationalize questionable behavior. Paying for extra perks is in no way equivalent to booking leading reservations.

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La la la la la
Not listeniiiiiiing!!
La la la la
Oh look a HM FPP…

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I think there are degrees.

On a recent Backside of Magic podcast they were talking (hypothetically) about photoshopping utility bills in order to get a Florida resident’s discount. That’s beyond questionable. That’s fraud. (Or it is where I come from.)

At the other end of the scale is hanging around MK at the start of MVMCP (for which you don’t have tickets) so that you can see the Castle lit up. And then leaving immediately.

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For an extra $4.99 (plus tax) Disney will convert it into an anytime HM FPP (good for that day only).

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