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Help on upcoming trip to WDW


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  • [Question] Help on upcoming trip to WDW

    So it's been 3 years since our last visit to WDW...We took a break from visiting Florida, and opted to go to DL in CA, and DL Paris the last 3 vacations we went on.

    We will be staying at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort for the first time August 16-21, and would like some input, advise, and help with some questions please.

    1) Besides the obvious (Fantasyland Expansion and Tron Test Track update) What all has changed at WDW in the last 3 years?
    2) Have they finally started to reinforce all Fast Pass return times?
    3) Are most shows from 3 years ago still running at all 4 parks?
    4) Have any of the attractions changed, or will they be going to be down for major refurbishments?
    5) We've been to WDW during peak, Group Tours, triple digit weather, and 60mins+ wait time season. Is it pretty much the same in the middle of August, or will the crowds and amount of GTs have thinned out a bit by then?

    6) Finally, are walk-ins an option at Be Our Guest , and most Character Buffets when we don't have ADRs?

    Thanks for the help in advance!!!!!
    Walt Disney World Off-Site January 2001, Off-Site July 2001, Off-Site January 2003, All-Star Movies January 2005, Animal Kingdom Lodge November 2007, Cabins at Fort Wilderness July 2010, Port Orleans Riverside August 2013. Disneyland Paradise Pier October 2011, Grand Californian December 2012 . Disneyland Paris Disneyland Hotel June 2012 :wizard: Tokyo Disney Resort Miracosta Hotel + Disneyland Hotel + Ambassador Hotel May 2015 My TDR TR

  • #2
    Re: Help on upcoming trip to WDW

    FP return times - yes, they are enforced
    No, there is zero chance of walk-ins for BoG for dinner.. but you can wait for Lunch which is no reservations. Wait times have been reported to be about 30mins+ on average. Pretty sure most character meals don't have walk-ins, but that doesn't keep you from trying to do ressies really close (even day of)

    mid-august is still summer break.. so I wouldn't expect a shift in attendance yet. needs to be after labor day or right before it for that

    shows.. mostly the same. Except for the castle projection show which is neat.

    for attractions and refurbs.. best to check the calendars for that. Tho the new WDW website calendar BLOWS for looking this up.. so you should check another website's calendar for this. Something like this - Walt Disney World Calendar


    • #3
      Re: Help on upcoming trip to WDW

      When I visited for Spring Break this past March, we did Be Our Guest quick service for lunch and we really enjoyed it. Since it was our first time, the three of us each picked a different dish and split them all and everyone of them was delicious. The technology and the way they bring you your food was also quite out standing. Definitely worth the 30-40 minute wait in my eyes. I'd assume in August the wait time would be left since Spring Break was insane.


      • #4
        Re: Help on upcoming trip to WDW

        SM did get a refurb and they did close off the roof of the indoor waiting area which really did reduce the amount of light pollution for the ride. They also added sound to some sections of the ride (no onboard audio). One side is now for fast pass while the other is stand by. BTMRR also got a major refurb as well. I was told it was a very extensive refurb as well.
        Current coaster count: 179
        100th coaster: Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood
        150th coaster: Intimidator at Carowinds
        last new park addition: Six Flags Great America


        • #5
          Re: Help on upcoming trip to WDW

          We just got back, and I concur with the above posts. The Coasters are improved, the shows are the same from 3 years ago, and still worth it. The projection show on the Castle is really fun, and I would spend the time to get a good spot for the fireworks if you haven't seen it in 3 years. You can get a good cup of coffee FINALLY, which, while perhaps a simple pleasure, will sure make my day. We JUST missed the opening of the Starbucks on Main Street. Of course, Fantasyland is completely redone. 2 Dumbos, and if the kids are still little, the new Belle "show" is interactive and fun. Have a great time!!!


          • #6
            Re: Help on upcoming trip to WDW

            Okay... let's be frank here about Be Our Guest. You will NOT be able to pull a "walk up" tatic on Be Our Guest. I know, it sucks to hear but they are very strict there. I have been able to dine there 3 times now but I am hardcore checking for reservations to open up for every trip and I have another reservation for an upcoming September trip.

            I will say your only option is (that is if you don't have the time or energy to check literally every day for an open table) the lunch service which anyone can use. The catch here is the line is LONG and stretches out into the park every day.

            It's best to get to the MK early when the park opens, head straight to Be Our Guest, get in line and wait until 11am when the lunch service starts. I myself have actually never had to wait but I would have had I not been able to get a table reservation for dinner. If you are unable to get a dinner reservation then you must wait in line for this lunch service.

            I've heard and talked with people who waited in the lunch service line for over an hour just to get inside to finally eat. They do cut the line off at some point and someone did say that they waited in line near the end for 30 minutes and still didn't get in to eat.

            What some did was to trade off with people to hold a place in line from when the park opens. Some people go off and do things while others wait in line and switch until they start letting people in to place their orders and get their tables.

            I've been told it is worth the wait but it all depends if you plan on getting to the park early, get near the front of the line so you can eat early and just be done with it. Be Our Guest lunch service is a wait game and a hassle but for those who are determined to eat there, the experience will be amazing.

            I wish you nothing but luck on your dining reservations. Now I do remember joking with the host at the check in table one time for the dinner hours about if they had any open tables and they always say "we are not able to accept walk ups. we're booked solid through (insert November here or whichever month is epic far away)". I do it just to see and test what they will say. It's the same all three times.

            Be Our Guest is the top dining reservation everyone is going for and I can only say when you do finally find a reservation... the moment is just like.. "is this even real, is that an open reservation I see in front of me on the computer screen!"

            Just remember if you're using the online booking system to have your username and password ready for your Disney account because if you can't log in you don't get the reservation. Plus a credit card number is needed but no money needed to put down and no need to pay in full in advance.

            Now if you're looking, have already booked a table at another place and then find a time for Be Our Guest that overlaps your other dining reservation, don't worry, just continue on signing in and keeping that Be Our Guest reservation because at some point the booking system will inform you that you have another reservation that conflicts with Be Our Guest and asks you if you want to keep or cancel your current and previous reservations. Take your time and make sure you DON'T cancel the Be Our Guest reservation during this moment.

            I had a dining reservation agent tell me that I couldn't book a Be Our Guest table if I have another during the same time and I even asked if there was a moment where I can just cancel the other one and book the new one and she told me NO there wasn't but THERE IS!

            Be Our Guest really has gotten to the place of booking a vacation around a booked reservation months in advance.

            Again good luck!
            Last edited by Micoofy Duck; 06-22-2013, 12:03 AM.


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