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View Full Version : Early Entry... Do you really need it??


CWIPPERMAN
09-18-2002, 04:36 PM
Ok,
So unless you're living in a box, you've seen that "Early Enry" is coming back on October 1st. I just got back from 6 days at WDW last Friday, and before hand, I was quite disappointed that "EE" was not available. But, after retruning, I can honestly say that "EE" probably wouldn't have done anything for me. It was tough enough to drag our aching bodies out of bed every morning to get to the parks within an hour of opening. The only parks we actually made it to the "opening" of were the water parks (and they didn't open until 10AM compared to 9AM for everything else). And, we never spent an entire day at a park - at the most 5 or 6 hours.

So here's the question... is it really worth it? Is "EE" really that important? For me any future trips where "EE" is available will only tell me which parks to avoid on which days. Personally I'd much rather see LATER hours at some of the parks (like MK), than opening a park earlier.

And here's one more thing... maybe this needs a separate thread, but I would really love to see DisneyQuest open later. If you are there with kids (which we weren't), it seems like if you went to Pleasure Island, and sent the kids to DQ.... it would be a pain in the butt to have to leave by 11PM to get your kids. Of all of the places at WDW, I think DisneyQuest would be the best place to leave open late. There's probably a maximum of 40 employee's that you would have to have working, and it would add so much more value to the "evening" passes. Plus, mom and dad have more time to spend money at PI. Just a thought.

Anyway... on to the poll!

robinb
09-18-2002, 04:45 PM
For those of us who are commandos or who have small children, EE is worth it. I can get a lot of attractions done in those first 2 hours (the EE hour, plus the first regular park hour) than I can in 4 hours in the middle of the day!

PKS44
09-18-2002, 04:48 PM
EE means more chance to take a midday break...plus I am an early riser on vacation---I am EEcstatic it's back.

Micca
09-18-2002, 05:30 PM
I am a recovering commando tourist. I loved getting up early(which I do every day) hitting the parks and enjoying a significant portion of the park attractions before the throngs got in. Unfortunately no one else in my party ever wanted to get up at 6:15 so we could leave the room at 7 so we could arrive approx 7:30am. I used EE and was sad to see it go, but now I don't know how much I'll use it.

raidermatt
09-18-2002, 05:40 PM
We'll probably be in the "avoid EE park" crowd.

You're probably right. From an "off-season theme park touring" perspective, EE isn't really needed. On the surface, that makes this a curious time to bring it back.

But from what we are hearing, the real reason is the depressed bookings at WDW resorts, especially when compared to Universal. Now, EE probably doesn't make much of a difference to most of the folks visiting in October, since the parks will likely be nearly deserted, as we keep hearing they are now.

So why not wait to add EE until Spring, when crowds start picking up? Because the people visiting in the Spring/Summer of next year are starting to make their plans now. If Disney waited until then to bring back EE, it would be too late.

I think the hope is that the new EE will have a marginal immediate impact on attendance, but will have a more significant impact on advance bookings before the next earnings report comes out. That way, management can report some more positive news about the future, rather than going through another call where they blame the economy and fear of flying for their problems.

Certainly a step in the right direction, even if they had to be hit over the head a couple of times to figure it out...

DVC-Landbaron
09-18-2002, 05:40 PM
EE means choice. Options. You can join it and have two hours of bliss (if you can call dragging half awake kids through Fantasyland bliss ;)) or you can work against the crowd, knowing what parks to avoid that morning. It affords people who like the early morning to experience the park and get the heck out of there later at night when I'm there!!! Options!!! What a wonderful word!

Everyone used it, or I should probably say 'was affected by it', whether they knew it or not!! I know I was and I never entered a park before 2:00pm in the last ten years!!!

I'd normally write a sentence saying 'thank you' to Disney, but they don't deserve it. They blew it big time when they took it away and they did nothing more than correct a terrible mistake!

So, I guess, "Thank you Disney for finally waking up!!"

CWIPPERMAN
09-18-2002, 05:51 PM
Hey, I have a request of the moderators. I started the poll, and want to know if it can be changed.

Could you change the "yes" options from one to two, and make them:

Yes - I'll go the the "EE" park early!

and the other...

Yes - I'll avoid the "EE" park to miss the crowds!


I would really like to know the difference on how people will use the "EE" days.

Thanks :D

(I would edit the poll myself, but it says "moderators" only.)

wdw4us2
09-18-2002, 07:17 PM
We always used EE - it really makes a difference, especially at MK.

When the EE park became too crowded, we either went back to the resort for a break or went to another park.

We will definitely be utilizing EE again!

Lisa:smooth:

Eeyore2U
09-18-2002, 07:32 PM
It matters not to me about EE. I'll have to pay attention to the EE schedule so as to miss the EE park.

EUROPA
09-18-2002, 08:01 PM
I love the fact that the same people that agreed with Disney saying that many people did not use EE are now saying they will be avoiding the parks on those days to miss the crowds. :) So I wonder how many people does it take to make MK crowded and for the average person to notice the increased number of people in the parks by Noon? 2,000, 5,000, 10,000?

DVC-Landbaron
09-18-2002, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by Eeyore2U
It matters not to me about EE. I'll have to pay attention to the EE schedule so as to miss the EE park. OH MY GOD!!! Maybe I don't get it!! By running counter to EE (i.e. avoiding the crowds) it DOES matter to you and you ARE using it!!!! Just like I use it!! Even though I never wake up before ten!!

If you play it right, EE is wonderful!!! :bounce:

Eeyore2U
09-18-2002, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by DVC-Landbaron
OH MY GOD!!! Maybe I don't get it!! By running counter to EE (i.e. avoiding the crowds) it DOES matter to you and you ARE using it!!!! Just like I use it!! Even though I never wake up before ten!!

If you play it right, EE is wonderful!!! :bounce:

Baron,

I guess it's semantic. I don't get up early, like you. Is that using EE? I think it's being smart. ;)

In all my posts regarding this inane topic, I never said I didn't take advantage of what EE creates. If and when I have grandchildren it may change but I prefer to roll and go back to sleep while others get up earlier then when they are home.

Bob O
09-18-2002, 08:45 PM
I ALWASY use EE!!!! Nothing is more magical than being ina disney park with few people and not having to wait in lines!!!!! And being able to have pictures with the characters without people pushing or shoving and getting in the way!! Its give you an extra hour in the park and increased the value of your resort stay/park admission. Escepcially w/kinds its great to get the rides in fanastyland done without waiting for dumbo and the other low capacity rides. By time the parks open to the masses you are done with FL and can make the dash to SM and also have done some of Tomorroland or TOT/RNRC at MGM so it is the best perk for staying onsite and makes the extra expense worthwhile.

raidermatt
09-18-2002, 08:57 PM
I love the fact that the same people that agreed with Disney saying that many people did not use EE are now saying they will be avoiding the parks on those days to miss the crowds. So I wonder how many people does it take to make MK crowded and for the average person to notice the increased number of people in the parks by Noon? 2,000, 5,000, 10,000?

"Not many" is a relative term. We KNOW there just weren't large numbers of guests taking advantage of EE. If there were, there would have been long lines.

But, yes, an extra 2000 people in a park is enough to change one's plans.

The key to all of this is that even Disney was smart enough to read a turnstile count and see its a low percentage of on-site guests. What they underestimated for whatever reason, was the number of folks who made an on-site vs off-site decision based on EE. How many actually walked through the EE turnstiles on a given day was really almost irrelevant.

In my case, I made the assumption that Disney was capable of estimating the number of on-sites guests they would lose with some level of accuracy.

I was wrong.

Eeyore, I think what Baron is saying is that EE at MK for example, actually draws people away from the other three parks that day, allowing us later risers to actually enjoy a slightly less crowded park on that day.

Personally, I think its a bit of a trade-off, in that it essentially eliminates one of the 4 parks for me that day (i.e. one option), if I want to avoid the largest crowds.

But, at worst, its a wash for us, and certainly there are quite a few guests who felt very postive about EE, to the point that they decided to stay off-site.

Eeyore2U
09-18-2002, 09:05 PM
RM,

I agree with Baron's premise. But by working against it, although I get an advantage from it, but don't feel I'm using it. It's semantics. We tour OUR way. EE or not.

EUROPA
09-18-2002, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt

But, yes, an extra 2000 people in a park is enough to change one's plans.



So you saying that an "extra" 2000 people in the park can make the crowds so bad that in the advice of most guide books you should get out of there by noon and high-tail it to another park or your hotel?

DisneyKidds
09-18-2002, 10:20 PM
The way we tour, EE is a very useful item. We don't have to get up any earlier to do EE, we just use our time differently.

Without EE we will get up early and eat breakfast at 7:30 so that we are ready when the parks open at 9:00. Without EE everyone else shows up around 9:00. You might have it easy for an hour, but by 10:00 the late sleepers are arriving. By 11:00 it is more crowded, and by noon you will have the max waits for the day (granted, in off season that may not be much of a wait).

With EE we will get to the park at 8:00. You have it easy breezy for a good two hours, you hang with the late sleepers for an hour, and then when the peak crowd is there we cruise and do a late breakfast.

Either way we go back to our resort around 12:30 or 1:00 for a mid day break. With EE you get more productive time in the park and we spend time eating rather than waiting in line in the late morning.

The issue of the EE park being more crowded is not an issue for us. We simply go to a different park in the afternoon. As such, you get the benefit of the extra uncrowded hour in the morning, plus the fact that other parks might be less crowded in the afternoon.

I'll be calling tomorrow to rearrange our PS's accordingly.

Planogirl
09-18-2002, 11:07 PM
We enjoyed using Early Entry particularly at the Magic Kingdom where crowds tend to build so quickly. But we've been going during busy times of year when it's hard enough to see everything so ANY extra time is an advantage.

Another interesting tidbit is that Early Entry is useful for those who stay offsite too. They, like anyone else, can plan to avoid the Early Entry park for that day and be at another park at opening time. It makes a difference!

Lesley
09-19-2002, 12:05 AM
Though we managed without ee, our trips since its cancellation have not been the same. We always used ee.....though not normally early risers, dh and I both have very much enjoyed the cool early mornings in the practically empty parks (yes, less crowded than last Jan. even....) I could see the arguement that not many people acutally show up for ee, but that's what makes it so great. Plus as others have said....resort guests just want to know that they have the option, whether they use it or not. I've been feeling like a real hypocrit for staying on-site since ee's cancellation, because of how strongly I felt about it (fact is...we're just spoiled and still wanted to be right there even if the deal wasn't as good as in the past...that four fingered, white gloved hand has a pretty good grip on our wallets, I'll admit)

I'm thrilled that we can go back to our old touring strategies. I just hope I can get my kids with the program. EE is the only way to do Fantasyland. And hour of non-stop walk ons...Pooh, Peter Pan and even Dumbo multiple times in a row. That takes care of the necessities for the kiddos and the rest of the day we can focus elsewhere.

BTW, our strategy always has been to do whatever we can during ee....get to the popular stuff that isn't open during ee first thing after rope drop while the masses are still entering...have breakfast and then head out for our daily break. Not having ee really messed that up because our breaks became later or non-existant, or got too close to closing time.

Dh's reaction to the news...."Cool! Do you think we'll be able to get the kids up?"
:D

SPAGo 98
09-19-2002, 12:33 AM
i only attended EE once, and never made that mistake again. i do use the EE schedule to plan, because i will not be caught in an EE park ever again. so i guess i use it.

doggy
09-19-2002, 12:43 AM
Once again Disney makes yet one more poor business decision.....Why in the world did Disney wait until Oct 1st to bring the EE mornings back? What happened to the summer months and the hot temps and using EE mornings. After watching the news about the stock holder meetings and questioning Eisner and his business smarts. I would have to wonder who is making the decisions for these types of things. Would it not have made much more sense to bring back the EE mornings during the so-called peak months and HOT months to help those of us that would like to beat the crowd and heat???

raidermatt
09-19-2002, 03:13 AM
So you saying that an "extra" 2000 people in the park can make the crowds so bad that in the advice of most guide books you should get out of there by noon and high-tail it to another park or your hotel?

Considering that's at least a 5% bump on an already busy day, as much as a 10+% bump on a slower day, then I'd say yes, it is enough to recommend bailing. Considering guidebooks emphasize maximizing use of time, why would they recommend staying in a park whose attendance is inflated by 5-10% when the other three parks have their attendance deflated by 2-4%.

I still have to maintain that as out of touch as some portions of management are, they are still capable of reading an attendance figure.

Certainly, however, they can completely mis-interpret what it means.

I don't see why this is such a problem for you, Europa. 40k is a pretty busy day at MK, and that means 40k came through the turnstiles at some point, but there's not 40k in the park at a given time. Also, some of them are shopping and eating at any given time. Do you really think 10k could storm in all at once, head for the rides, and still not result in any kind of significant lines?

Regardless of how many people actually went through, its still doesn't matter, though. What mattered was that EE was a significant deciding factor for guests when they made their lodging decision, and WDW didn't get that.

They screwed up.

Geez, its not like I'm defending them. I'm just trying to look at the situation objecively...

Eeyore2U
09-19-2002, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by doggy
Once again Disney makes yet one more poor business decision.....Why in the world did Disney wait until Oct 1st to bring the EE mornings back? What happened to the summer months and the hot temps and using EE mornings. After watching the news about the stock holder meetings and questioning Eisner and his business smarts. I would have to wonder who is making the decisions for these types of things. Would it not have made much more sense to bring back the EE mornings during the so-called peak months and HOT months to help those of us that would like to beat the crowd and heat???

Doggy,

Doesn't "better late then never" fit here?

Or are you upset since it wasn't there on your trip?

Cindy B
09-19-2002, 06:29 AM
Yes, I used EE quite a bit.

We are very early risers (6 am is sleeping in for us!), so to be at the parks early was not a big deal. We used it to the fullest extent either park.

And when the crowds filtered in, we would leave.

EUROPA
09-19-2002, 06:56 AM
Originally posted by raidermatt
I don't see why this is such a problem for you, Europa. 40k is a pretty busy day at MK, and that means 40k came through the turnstiles at some point, but there's not 40k in the park at a given time.



Mainly its such a problem because people keep saying like it was true or something. It's my contention that there is no way in hell that the average guest could tell if there were 2000 more people in the Magic Kingdom.

Don't ever go at Chrismas then...because there are 40,000 + in the MK at one time and I think they all do try to get on the rides at the same time. :)


They screwed up.


Yep got that right.


Geez, its not like I'm defending them. I'm just trying to look at the situation objecively...

But you are...Why is it we trust AV when it comes to other things but on this we don't? He has said several times that EE was heavily attended. Sure not everybody used it but it was heavily attended. He has also said many times that removal of EE was not due to the lack of attendance. IT was money driven pure and simple.

cindyfan
09-19-2002, 07:37 AM
I agree with DisneyKidds all the way!:)
We never really changed our wake up times, just adjusted our plans for the day.
And we REALLY MISSED EE when we were there in June!!
We will definitely take advantage of it in Oct

ONe think that I really notice is that without EE the "flow" of people into the parks was just CRAZY!!
With EE ..... no, not everyone entered at 8am, but rather kinda flowed steadily in for the early hour.
W/O EE.......the MASSES of people all tried to enter at 9am! It was like watching cattle being herded. They all walked together as one mass down Main Street, or down towards Spaceship Earth!!!

And with the later hour at AK..........YIKES!! We will definitely be there for EE in Oct!! That park was not designed for the "masses" to all enter at the same time.
Plus.....9am is just too late to be entering a park that has live animals!! The safari at 9:30am is a huge difference than at 8am!!

They have realized the error of their ways and re-instated EE...it is a GOOD THING!!!:)

Now they just need to realize that we need MK open after sunset!! Closing at 6pm in Oct is just Nuts!!!

Thanks to WDW for correcting their mistake!!!:Pinkbounc

Disneycrazymom
09-19-2002, 09:11 AM
My family will use EE at MK. For the little ones, who get up early anyway, it is wonderful to have Fantisyland to yourself in the morning. Then Toontown to yourself the 2nd hour. We have been 3 times this year and really missed EE at MK.

I wonder if this will fill the resorts again? I would guess that some guests that went off-site found that they enjoyed the bigger rooms and better prices and will continue to book off-site and go to the park that had EE the day before. We never went off-site but did switch to the Swan. I can't imagine staying anywhere else now.

BCVOwner2002
09-22-2002, 02:08 PM
DH & I always enjoyed EE. Since we are early risers this gives us one more reason to enjoy the parks early and take a mid morning/afternoon break from the hot summer sun. Hope they keep this going until we are there again next June! Annmarie

Luv2Roam
09-22-2002, 02:50 PM
I think lack of EE is one issue that clogged up the POR bus system in the morning too. I think they had twice as many people trying to get there than they anticipated. And it seemed to only make most guests frustrated and mad.
I am just using POR as example, as I am sure it made a large difference everywhere.