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Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

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  • #21
    Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

    Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
    The spontaneity of Disney World is definitely deteriorated. Even as a local I have to make reservations at some of my favorite restaurants weeks or months in advance. I see on a daily basis families that are trying to adhere to an itinerary that Mom or Dad prepared back on the home computer. They all walk around with these sheets of papers with maps and times and all. I see them trying to take a picture, you know the kind with everyone squishing together and the camera holders arm extended out, so I ask them if they would like me to take the picture for them and they say they don't have time they have a reservation to get to. Then there is the family waiting on the monorail platform at the Contemporary nervously looking at their watch and trying to see if the monorail is coming because they have that 1900 Park Fare reservation in 5 minutes. and then there is the family that is getting ticked off because the parade is postponed a few minutes as a brief rain shower passes by. Now their whole timetable is gonna be messed up. And finally there is the family where the planner is literally crying because the attraction that was scheduled for a 3:30 ride is closed due to technical difficulties and now their whole trip, to them, is ruined because it was the ONLY ride they HAD to ride in the whole park and now they are going to miss that opportunity because their schedule won't allow for a return later in the day- or in 10 minutes- when the ride reopens.

    In the old days there was no fast pass, no ADR's, just same day reservations and all was cool. As a local as well, it is a shame that I can't wake up in the morning and decide I want to have dinner at 'Ohana or LeCelliar, or even Trails End tonight. I could do that at some Orlando's other fine restaurants.

    If there was no fast pass, I doubt very much the line for Soarin' would reach 90 or more minutes.


    Golly, that makes me really sad. A lot of folks think I'm biased against WDW but that's not true. It's just things like that that really make the resort less special. Folks tell me about all the must-see restaurants and by then, it's too late because I didn't make reservations months in advance.


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    • #22
      Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

      Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
      The spontaneity of Disney World is definitely deteriorated. Even as a local I have to make reservations at some of my favorite restaurants weeks or months in advance. I see on a daily basis families that are trying to adhere to an itinerary that Mom or Dad prepared back on the home computer. They all walk around with these sheets of papers with maps and times and all. I see them trying to take a picture, you know the kind with everyone squishing together and the camera holders arm extended out, so I ask them if they would like me to take the picture for them and they say they don't have time they have a reservation to get to. Then there is the family waiting on the monorail platform at the Contemporary nervously looking at their watch and trying to see if the monorail is coming because they have that 1900 Park Fare reservation in 5 minutes. and then there is the family that is getting ticked off because the parade is postponed a few minutes as a brief rain shower passes by. Now their whole timetable is gonna be messed up. And finally there is the family where the planner is literally crying because the attraction that was scheduled for a 3:30 ride is closed due to technical difficulties and now their whole trip, to them, is ruined because it was the ONLY ride they HAD to ride in the whole park and now they are going to miss that opportunity because their schedule won't allow for a return later in the day- or in 10 minutes- when the ride reopens.

      In the old days there was no fast pass, no ADR's, just same day reservations and all was cool. As a local as well, it is a shame that I can't wake up in the morning and decide I want to have dinner at 'Ohana or LeCelliar, or even Trails End tonight. I could do that at some Orlando's other fine restaurants.

      If there was no fast pass, I doubt very much the line for Soarin' would reach 90 or more minutes.
      Those stories are sad, and I blame Disney for a lot of it, but undoubtedly, it's also the fault of those who choose to experience Disney like that. You absolutely do not have to plan out your entire day down to the minute - quite frankly, that's not a vacation, that's OCD gone haywire.

      One of the first things I always tell all my friends when they ask my advice on a WDW trip is to relax, slow down, take time to enjoy the scenery, and allow room for spontaneity. Yes, you may not see everything that way, but you'll have a heck of a lot more fun and appreciate the parks more than you will if you know that you need to be in line for Soarin' at exactly 15:00:03. Seriously, who does that? It just boggles my mind that anyone would schedule their "vacation" like a military operation.

      As I stated above, I would LOVE for Disney to eliminate FP, the DDP, and make ADRs "day of" only but to a certain extent, every guest still has the choice to leave room for spontaneity or not.
      Last edited by PSUMark; 08-05-2011, 08:22 PM.
      I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
      -Walt Disney

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      • #23
        Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

        I posted about the Disneyland version of this a year ago. I would argue our mostly local customer base makes it even worse. People learn the drill, know the drill, and the tourists get eaten alive!

        Here's the thread.

        http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...-dl-drill.html
        Disneyland Historic Preservation Society
        Charter Member

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        • #24
          Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

          Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
          Spontaneity is definitely becoming extinct at WDW and it's not just because of the dining plan. The execs want to know what their guests are doing, where they're going at ALL times... and to do this, they have created a system where they can do just that.

          Look at Magic Mornings and Extended evenings. They're not really magical or extended any more if the majority of park guests are going to those. Evening spectaculars like the fireworks, fantasmic!, and illuminations are all scheduled so that you don't really choose which one to go to... it's either the time they give you or you don't see it.
          Why not just put a GPS tracking microchip in every keycard? Besides, who's to say that if a guest makes an X-Pass planning list they will follow it to the letter? They might as well go all the way and inform the suits of when someone is in a park restroom or Downtown Disney or even visiting Universal. That would be crazy yes and perhaps an invasion of privacy but it's less work for the guests.

          I dunno what to think of EMH though. The only upside I would see to the XPass is if it allows people to schedule when they actually leave the parks and maybe ease the crowding of Disney buses at park closing time but I don't see this happening all too likely. I would be up for the parks being open to everyone for 1-2 hrs after the final performance of the last nighttime show so that people can have something to do in the parks if they don't wish to deal with the crowds and spend most of those 2 hrs waiting at the buses. That is if most people have a tendency to leave the park after the final fireworks show.

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          • #25
            Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

            I look back fondly on the olden days when you could walk into a park and book that night's meal. And of course I wish I didn't have to book a meal 180 days out. That said, I've just adjusted to the current reality, and I still manage to have a great time in the World. I'm watching with great concern the development of the new whatevertheycallit - the new electronic pass that will somehow revolutionize my vacation. If it works like people are talking about, where I have to book my Fastpasses months in advance, then I'm not at all for it. But I'm giving this a big ol' wait-n-see.

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            • #26
              Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

              I have not been able to get ressies at LeCellier since 2006. This challenged us to try other places. Kona turned out to be a favorite.this does not stop us from enjoying WDW to the fullest.

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              • #27
                Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

                This is just corporate copycat at play. Every company is copying Apple. control the product the customer gets, force them to pay a premium for that controlled product. Use PR and advertising to convince the public that this product is unmatched and unlike everything out there. So you want to eat here? Not without us knowing who is where and when.

                Why not? Apple is making millions (maybe billions?) off people who have no idea what NeXT or FreeBSD is.
                Problem is that most people don't know much about computers and don't do research, but theme parks are very real and easy to compare for the layperson


                edited to add: GNU Linux all the way!!!!
                It's got Electrolytes, It's What Plant's Crave

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                • #28
                  Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

                  When my family and I went in July we found that the more you tried to plan things out, the more someone missed out on something they wanted to do. I admit with the size of the parks and how much there is to do, you need to plan on some things to skip and something you want to do first etc.

                  Not being a big DDP family, we did get lucky a few times with reservations and getting good meals. The problem with not doing the DDP is like so many know that it is so hard to get a reservation at a good restaurant, so you're stuck eating expensive chicken nuggets.
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                  • #29
                    Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

                    I would submit that the difficulty of getting reservations has nothing to do with the DDP. If you want to eat at the nicer place, you have to reserve in advance, whether you're on the DDP or not.

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                    • #30
                      Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

                      I have only used the Dining plan once. On all my other vacations, I never had any trouble getting into any of the restaurants that I wanted to eat at. I guess I've been fortunate. Having one priority seating each day, just meant that I needed to be at that restaurant about 15 minutes prior to my specified time. I then planned my day around that. It wasn't too bad, and I usually got to do all that I wanted.

                      Making some plans is absolutely necessary, but there was always lots of time for spontaneity on my past vacations.
                      BarbaraAnn

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                      • #31
                        Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

                        Originally posted by danyoung View Post
                        I would submit that the difficulty of getting reservations has nothing to do with the DDP. If you want to eat at the nicer place, you have to reserve in advance, whether you're on the DDP or not.
                        But that would ignore that DDP enables many more people to eat at these resturants, MORE, then if they would if they were not on DDP. So DDP is responsible for the the extremely high utilization.. hence making it harder to get reservations.

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                        • #32
                          Re: Has Spontaneity at WDW gone the way of the Dinosaurs?

                          flynnibus, that's very true. My point was that no matter if you were using the DDP or not, you still had to book months in advance to get the best places. Of course, the DDP program means that, as you say, many more people are eating at the nicer places than before, which makes it harder to get a booking. But for any given trip, you have the same chance of getting a dining rez whether you have the DDP or not.

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