Finally sat down to do park reservations for our July trip as tomorrow is ADR day. We have a mixed group of 3 annual passes and 1 regular ticket, but staying on-site. Of course I cannot book the full group together for park reservations, because - well who knows why? Just to annoy me and make me do everything twice, I guess.
Book the lone regular ticket first - no option for a hotel reservation gateway - start and the Saturday/Sunday days do not offer Epcot availability on first pass. I’m incredibly annoyed and wondering if I will have to recraft all our plans - perhaps hop to HS and then back or something inane? Then I book, the APs using the reservation option - they all book fine. Although the interface changes - stupid things like the “Make another reservation” switches from left to right - so if you’re just going off of muscle memory you have to start over picking the beginning stuff.
Then I decide to retry to book that first Saturday/Sunday for our lone ticket holder and am able to book Epcot for those 2 days as well. In the end everything worked - but I wasted a ton of time doing a chore that I shouldn’t have to; got super frustrated at Disney when I thought I was going to have to re-plan due to their awful reservation system; and got annoyed when I’d hit a wrong button since they changed interfaces between two things that are supposed to be the same. How did they manage to reverse the user interface on those?
It continues to boggle my mind that they insist on keeping this awful system which only makes me hate Disney IT more. I mean who knew that was even possible?
Now just fingers crossed that the ADR system is running smoothly tomorrow morning…
Do you need to have your park reservations for your ADRs? I did not think so, especially if you intend to park hop. I’ll be staying at YC so my intention was to have most of my ADR dinners there even though my park res wouldn’t be Epcot because of park hopping…
You technically don’t need park reservations for ADRs. Although if you book lunch ADRs in the parks and then cannot get into said parks, it becomes a pretty big problem. Or becomes a very late lunch (after 2 plus walk time from the gate).
My son, who’s in the Disney College Program right now, called me this morning and asked if the park reservation system will go away. I told him nobody knows, and I think most people believe it will go away. But there are a few people – and I am among them – who think Disney has gotten hooked on the park reservation system as a means of crowd control, and it will never go away.
I hope you’re right; I hope the customer service person with whom you spoke is right, and I hope I am wrong.
I did just make park reservations for my October trip, though, and I was very annoyed not to be able to book the Animal Kingdom on Sunday, 10/23. Dang it! I had to book the Magic Kingdom just as a placeholder, but I really want AK.
We had an issue with park reservations after having to add another guest 2 weeks ago for our trip a week from now. If you have the time and patience to be on the phone for an hour or so for a couple of days with a cast member, it can easily be done. They were able to do their “magic” and make park reservation switch for us/you. But it was 3 phone calls that were about an hour each, but worth it for us. Good luck!
It’s awful, but sadly, I don’t see the park reservation system going away. It’s too beneficial to Disney’s staffing to abandon. Disney: “Why should we fully staff when we don’t have to?”
What I WILL think will happen is the caps will go away or at least will start going on a customer-facing rotation of openings like “phases”. For example, once most parks reach initial reservation capacity of “phase 1”, they’ll go into “phase 2” and openings will be back, and then onces that’s full - phase 3, and so on then just keep going until actual park capacity is reached.
This way they can just keep all those CMs earning $15 an hour home unless absolutely needed.
Doing the phase thing could also potentially help those looking to do spontaneous trips. Unless of course it doesn’t break that “threshold” and we’re back to where we are now.
Beyond the ADR though, I want proper park hopping back. With AK closing so early and not being able to hop until 2PM, it’s a total rip off. I’ll accept 12PM (begrudgingly) and you can even keep the dedicated buses starting at 2PM no matter what, but I feel there should be hopping allowed at all times. If I have to handle the transportation over there, so be it (frankly, with monorail and skyliner it’s not even a problem)
Early-hoppers like myself are not the norm and in keeping me tied to one park they’re actually losing money. Because where I WOULD go to a park to buy or eat something and then hop to whatever park I’m going to spend the rest of my day in, I now skip that initial merch buy/meal, go back to the hotel to rest, or go for a non-profitable walk.
If they want to keep Park Reservations, then they can’t open up totally free hopping… otherwise it defeats the Park Reservations… tap in at EPCOT and immediately board a monorail for the MK… However, I agree that they could keep you pinned to the first park for only 4 hours.
Park Reservation at AK? AK opens at 8? Then you can park hop at noon.
Part of me (without any data or information to back it up) does think the 2:00 time will eventually be modified. I don’t see it going any earlier than noon, but 1 could be a possibility.
I don’t think it defeats the purpose as their sole purpose is to identify where the bulk of the guests will be.
As people like me are outliers, there’s not enough of us hopping to move that needle enough to make them regret they staffed up MK instead of Epcot or vice versa. Even if they open up hopping from the jump the vast majority of people would be looking to stay in that reserved park for at least half the day if not longer
I am one who does not believe it will go away. It benefits Disney to keep it.
For one, they can decide staffing based on reservations. They won’t have cast members needlessly standing around when not needed (and thus, not paying anyone).
Secondly, as we still have a cast member shortage, Disney won’t suffer from additional guest dissatisfaction if there are not enough cast members that can handle a particularly large crowd (especially in food service where the greatest shortage seems to be falling).
On 10/1 there were an ABUNDANCE of CMs roaming around to the point where they were standing around and doing nothing at times. And now with the college program and international peeps coming back this summer, I have a tough time believing they’re still struggling (at least on the park-side of things).
Which park, and what time of day? The one thing the reservation system cannot predict is parkhopping, so I can more CMs than needed in the afternoon at one park if a large number hop to another.
Disney is still playing safe with the college program and international cast members so far. I still see a lot of parks already closed to further reservations through the middle of June, and touring plans is not predicting high CLs on those days. I know TP is just making predictions, but they are rarely off by a point or two.
It was all parks from the reports I saw and all day. In MK, I noticed it and everyone was (rightfully) expecting that to be the madhouse. So if they had enough CMs on that day to a point where they were standing around doing nothing, why isn’t that a common occurrence on the normal days?
Point is, I don’t think it’s a staffing shortage, but rather a scheduling of a shortage.
I also know PH can’t be predicted in the ADRs, but again, it doesn’t matter. There’s not enough that’s going to hop early to warrant keeping people stuck in their first park until 2pm or even 12pm. Most people don’t hop until evening hours for dinners/shows. If Disney isn’t worried about THAT, then they shouldn’t be worried about early-morning hopping either.
Add in that direct transportation will not be provided, and the likelihood of people willing to hop drops even lower before their desired 2PM mark.
I had no issue with this a few weeks ago. I was on a regular ticket and my DDs were AP. As long as you all have the same park reservations and you select everyone when you set up Genie for the day, you will all book together. The first time I used Genie (early December) it wouldn’t acknowledge my sons park reservation so I couldnt include him when I first set it up. Then, when I got VQ the next morning he was left off. Although by then MDE had unkinked itself regarding his reservation. But the blue umbrellas fixed it.