Post Trip Rants

We just got back from a 6 day trip (5/30–6/4) to WDW and we generally had a great time - it’s Disney of course! However, I wanted to first post some issues I had during the trip because that will be much shorter than a full fledged trip report.

First off, my traveling party was me (Dad) and my 13 y/o son and 15 y/o daughter. My wife took a girls trip to Vegas so we took this trip to WDW. I had hotel points with Sheraton/Westin, so we stayed at the Dolphin for free and the flights on UA were only $266/person. So all in all - not as expensive as our usual Disney vacations.

Day 2 - MK

I’m a big planner like everyone most on this board and I had a custom touring plan for all my parks including this day at MK. Generally I get my three FP+s for the mid morning/lunch time and we always rope drop to hit the E ticket rides that we don’t have FPs for. My FPs were for BTM;7DMT and Splash. We planned to rope drop and hit Space twice before moving through the rest of Tomorrowland.

We get to the park 35 minutes before opening (thank you Minnie Vans!) and proceed to the rope at the entry to Tomorrowland. We wait till opening at 9am (and if you are not familiar with current park opening rules, you must walk behind a line of CMs that lead you to the attraction.) In this case Space. No running past the CMs. So a bunch of guests (idiots like me) walk up to Space only to be greeted by the ride CMs telling us Space will be having a delayed opening! Throw that touring plan out of the window.

My beef is why couldn’t the CMs at the rope to Tomorrowland inform the guests (cattle) that the ride was not going to be open at the park opening so that we could make an informed decision to start somewhere else. It was frustrating, but we adapted and were still able to ride Space without much of a line later because I just kept monitoring the app to see when it opened and we rushed over there.

Day 3 - AK

I could not secure a FP for FOP on this day, so the plan was to RD the park (EMH at 8am) and hit EE a couple of times along with Dinosaur and other rides. We had a FP for Navi River, EE and Kali and we were going to do FOP standby after lunch, rather than first thing in the AM per a touring plan optimizer recommendation.

Well we get to the park early and walk over to Pandora just to check it out. The line is building for FOP and my daughter suggests that we just go for it, but I say to “trust the plan”, so we go to the rope at the entrance to Asia for EE first thing. We wait for 20 minutes for the park to open and guess what? We, and some other fools, slow walk behind the CMs to EE only to be greeted again by CMs saying that EE will have a delayed opening! I was very angry at this point because of the lost opportunity to start at FOP. We rushed back to FOP and now the line is at least three times as long as when we first entered the park, but unlike MK there are not that many options for E ticket rides, so we just got into the line and waited it out. It took about 65 minutes, which based on what has been reported wasn’t bad. The ride is amazing.

Day 4 - MK

Generally, we had the same touring plan as for day 2. Rope drop to do Space twice. This was an EMH day with 8am opening. We were going to concentrate on Fantasyland attractions in addition to the “Mountains” rather than Tomorrowland as on Day 2.

Well you guessed it - slow walk to Space . Within about 50 yards, one of the cast members reports, Space will be having a delayed opening. Wow! At least they told us before we got to the entrance this time. So my family peeled off and hoofed it to BTM with plans to hit Splash on standby after, except Splash was having a delayed opening as well. Needless to say, Disney has some areas of improvement in getting the rides up and running at opening.

Day 5 - AK

We had a noon FP for FOP on this day, so plan was to rope drop EE a couple of times first thing. It was an EMH day with an 8am opening. After EE, the plan was to hit dinosaur and then Primeval Whirl. At 9am, the Safari ride would open so we had an am planned with little or no lines.

Well with our luck - you know how this story is going to end - EE has delayed opening!. The only silver lining here, is that we slept a little later this AM because we stayed at MK the night before till midnight. so we didn’t get to the park until 8:05am. Consequently, I checked the MDE app before walking to EE and learned that it was not up and running. We filled on the first hour with some other attractions until Safari opened. EE was up later some we still were able to get 2 standby rides plus a FP ride on it.

Other Rants.


I had ADRs for table service lunch and dinners each day. We like table service for lunch just to take a break from the sun and park crowds and not have to jockey with others like you do for quick service. Anyhow, every ADR I had (9 total over the trip) except 1 (Plaza Restaurant) was 15 to 20 minutes behind the scheduled time. I understand that an ADR isn’t like an actual reservation, but again I feel that this is an area for improvement. At Liberty Tree Tavern, they were running 30 minutes behind schedule. There was one guy with a family of 6 who was on the verge of making a scene.

Minnie Vans

These worked great to get dropped off directly at MK in the AM if you don’t want to wait for the busses. They are pricy at $25 per trip, though. However, on the night at MK where we stayed until close at 12 midnight, there was a Minnie Van snafu. We ordered before leaving Main Street because from our experience it takes about 10 minutes to show up.

We were at the allotted bus stop (#11) waiting and I am checking out the Lyft app to see where the Van is. Well the app shows that our pick-up spot is the TTC, not MK as it should be, so I try to contact the driver by text and call, but guess what - the drivers cannot accept texts or calls while driving for safety reasons. So I continue to watch the Van go towards the TTC and I panic and cancel the ride fearing that they would list me as a no show. I order another Minnie Van - AND THE SAME THING HAPPENS!. The pick-up area is the TTC, not MK. I try to call this driver, fortunately he answers my call and says he is coming to the MK pick-up point.

In the meantime various Minnie Vans show up at spot 11 to pick up other guests and I point out the TTC/MK problem to one of the drivers and she says - yes there is a glitch on the Lyft app and I should contact the driver to advise that we are at MK and not the TTC. I ask how can I contact the driver when the policy is that they won’t respond while driving and she has no real answer.

My beef here is that I already took to Minnie Vans to MK in the AM and one of the drivers IMO should have mentioned this issue, so guests wouldn’t panic when then see the TTC listed for pick-up instead of MK. It’s weird because when you book it to go to MK - it accepts it, but pick-up has this glitch because other Lyft cars are not able to access MK directly.

All in all it took us 50 minutes to get back to our hotel from MK for the princely sum of $25 and we watched 3 busses leave from MK to go to our hotel during the wait - oh well, we live and learn.

Other than those issues, we had a great time. My next rant will be when I receive my credit card bill for the trip!


I keep on reading this but I don’t know where this comes from. When I make a *reservation” through Open Table- it is a reservation. I do not guarentee I will come with my credit card and there is no penalty if I do not show up. If I make an Advance Dining Reservation through MDE (note the word reservation ) I guarentee that slot with my credit card and if I do not show up there is a fee. I think Disney should lose the “it is not a reservation” argument and we should all tell them they cannot have it both ways.


Sadly, this isn’t unusual in the amusement park industry. Part of it is a matter of internal communication channels. That is, the team that is responsible for getting any given ride up and running is independent of the rest of the operations. So, if it is taking them longer to get things going, or there is an unexpected issue needing to be resolved, then it will just be the CM at that ride itself that is in the know.

The question becomes a technical one…how to communicate to the CMs at a different area of the park what issues they have, and when that is resolved. You’ll have a lot of miscommunication/talkover issues, etc.

Not that the issue couldn’t be solved…but a lot of work/training would need to go into it.

This year, at the opening weekend at Cedar Point, it was kind of a mess. I love CP, but my son went there to ride the new roller coaster. Not only did that roller coaster have a 5 hour wait (no joke), but eventually there was an accident on it that shut it down after only a few hours for the rest of the day.

In the meantime, no fewer than 6 of their other BIG attractions weren’t running until almost halfway through the day, and some not until evening.

Yet, if you read the fine print, they do not guarantee that ANY ride will be open or running when you come. It gives them an out. Came to ride Millennium Force? Sorry. Too bad. Sky Hawk? Nope. Not this time. Maverick? Maybe. Check later.

So, I make it a point of never counting on riding anything, no matter how much you love it. If you can’t enjoy your time without any given ride or rides, perhaps it best not to go! Anyhow, it is unfortunate for you (and others) that this happened so many times at Disney, but it is, sadly, business as usual.

I totally agree with you. If we can be charged for not showing up, Disney should do a better job of meeting the ADR times provided.

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I understand that there is no guarantee that a ride will be working - I’m just sharing my experiences from this trip as a cautionary tale for others.

BTW - during our 5 day trip to the parks, the following rides were down for extended periods at one point or another:

Space - twice
Splash - twice
7DMT - twice
EE - twice
Test Track (multiple times)
Winnie the Pooh
Philharmagic - once (not sure why since its only a movie)

Not exactly a great track record and this is probably an under representation because I was only paying attention to rides we were interested in.


We were down the same time as you and had the same issues, twice with Test Track in the morning. Tower of Terror was not working the first 45 mins one day, but doing Rock n roller right before did not make it as painful. 7DMT went down for about 20 mins while we were in line for a supposed 35 min wait during the fireworks but we made do. This was our 6th trip and the thing that amazed me the most was all 3 of our visits to EP had at least a 25 minute wait for Living with the Land! Our dining reservations went pretty well - had to wait an extra 15 mins at Liberty Tree - we were told at BOG they were running 20 mins behind, but they called our name 5 mins later, so that worked out. Being able to ride FOP for the first time and second time made up for anything negative for us.

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We had a great time as well despite the hiccups. I agree that FOP exceeded my expectations.

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If they are going to treat ADRs more like an ordinary restaurant reservation, then of course, you could not turn up 45 minutes early to a PPO reservation and expect to be seated. Which a lot of people do, don’t they? :wink:

I guess at the end of the day, there’s not a lot they can do, except to offer less ADR times, which then means fewer people get them.

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If you lose $10/person for missing the reservation they should credit you $10/person if they are not ready…just saying


I had a meltdown at Tusker House when after waiting 45minutes for lunch, they told us it was going to be another 20-30minutes wait. I told then it was unacceptable. They ended up calling our name 10minutes later. Not my best personal moment, but at that point I was done.

We had a Tusker House reservation for lunch on our last day. When the hostess told me they were running late but refused to give an estimate, I admit I was snappy with her. Not my proudest moment either, but my patience was short by that time.

The other ADRs at least gave an estimate of how long they were running behind.

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Somewhere along the line there was either a name or philosophical change. For may years it was always emphasized that these were not “reservations” in the traditional sense of the word (i.e. there is a specific table set aside at a certain time with “your name on it”), but rather they gave you a “head of the line” position at the specified time. For what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve ever been seated in less than 15 min after my ADR time…

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I know it’s little comfort when showing up for a ride to find it “down” (I can’t count the number of times this had happened to me), but I’m rather amazed that Space Mountain, now 44 years old, is running at all (even if it is running much more slowly than it used to). It really needs to be closed for a long refurb and have the entire coaster rebuilt from the ground up. Maybe they’ll do this after Tron opens…

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Actually I’m quite amazed that restaurants that are filled to capacity 10 -14 hours a day, 7 days a week, operate as efficiently as they do. Of course they could always just reduce the number of ADRs made available for any given hour which might help them keep closer to schedule. Or they could have CMs come around to your table and tell you “Your 60 minutes is up, please pay your bill and leave now. Have a magical day.” Or do away with ADRs entirely and go to a walk-up only approach with a text to your phone when a table is ready (in two hours)… Those would be popular solutions…

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Coral Reef and Crystal Palace are huge offenders in my book. I’ve had to wait forever after my ADR time every time I’ve been to either (3 and 2 respectively). I lost it at CR after we waited for more than an hour for a 700-730 pm reservation. The park was closed and we still hadn’t been seated. They kept saying just a few more minutes after the projected 30-min wait at the start. 2 of my 3 kids at the time fell asleep before we ordered and skipped dinner altogether. I have no problem waiting 15-20 minutes for an ADR but if I have to get up at 6 am EST to book a reservation 6 months before the date of the meal, shouldn’t they estimate the table turnover a bit better and get me my “reserved” table shortly after the correct time?


Yes, in April, we had problems with

Space mountain, 2 days in a row. One was for the rest of the day.
Buzz lightyear stopped with us on it for 10 minutes, lights on. It’s much better with the lights off
Splash mountain, 3hr shutdown during our FPP time. But it was our 3rd so we were able to grab our 4th and save our multiple experience for when it reopened.
I won’t count the test track against them since it was a rainy day. When it finally reopened at about 6pm, everyone still there that held on to their fastpass converged. Didn’t even open the standby line.
A bit inconvenient, but still manageable. at least we weren’t there when FOP had major shutdowns 2 days in a row!

I don’t think all the restaurants are filled to capacity the entire time they are open. For example, in May, we had a lunch ADR for Sci Fi around 11ish. We were there for an hour eating and the restaurant never reached 1/2 full. Apparently that is a difficult to get ADR and when I looked on MDE their weren’t any ADRs available.