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View Full Version : Use Fort Wilderness for cheap Extra Magic Hours


jasontovey
09-25-2012, 12:22 AM
Please tell me whether there is a critical flaw in this plan.

Some friends we're traveling with -- I don't want to say whether we're related -- plan to use Hilton points to book a hotel near WDW. This of course would exclude them from EMH and they would be at the mercy of their lousy hotel shuttle and/or pay for parking.

Say they'll be there on a Friday with evening EMH at Epcot and a Saturday with morning EMH at DHS. Could they book a single night (Friday) at FW to get access to EMH both days? Just check in early on Friday at 8am and never pitch a tent. Stay for Epcot EMH, go back to the hotel, get up and go to morning EMH at DHS the next day.

Sounds to me like you'd get 4 extra hours at Disney and free parking for 2 days for $60.75.

Am I missing something? Would they have to return to FW on Saturday to check out?

Thanks in advance!

(Personally I'll be staying at All-Star Music for the free dining plan.)

:)

huntforjulia
09-25-2012, 03:00 AM
1

2goofycampers
09-25-2012, 07:19 AM
Could they? Yes, and they would need to check out.

Should they??? They might be knocking some family out of a site that wanted to camp there that weekend. Sites are much harder to come by than rooms at WDW.

angelmom27
09-25-2012, 08:31 AM
I agree its wrong to take up space that someone else could be looking for.

I don't see that all of that would be worth an $60 in my opinion. Parking a lone would be half that. And the fact that they would physically have to spend time checking in and out would cut into precious time they could be spending at the parks.

North of Mouse
09-25-2012, 08:57 AM
What's legal is not always what's *right*! They would not be the first to do it, and am sure not the last - but as been pointed out someone else may *really need* that site to actually stay in ::yes::

Also, what's the point in gaining a few extra hours, to only lose them checking in and out? :confused3

Just my two cents!

luckycharm19335
09-25-2012, 09:32 AM
Seems like alot of work, with little benefit.
And, as a person that always stays at Fort Wilderness, and always invests a lot of time to get my reservations, I don't like that it can be done.

skyp4WDW
09-25-2012, 10:12 AM
We've booked a site at the fort just for the M.E. (when we were coming into town at all different times from different places) and we were staying at a non-disney hotel.
I told reservations WHY I booked it, when I made the reservation and paid. Additionally, I called the Outpost to let Ft W Managers know as well. So, they didn't hold our site for us and no one was turned away based on our reservation.

wdwrroad
09-25-2012, 11:09 AM
For a few $$ more why not book a room at a value if you really think its a good idea. There are more rooms than sites. I'd be mad if I needed the site and found out someone had one to get perks while staying off site. But that could be said about the value room also. I don't think it's a very nice think to do even if it can technically be done.

jasontovey
09-25-2012, 11:37 AM
I don't see that all of that would be worth an $60 in my opinion. Parking a lone would be half that. And the fact that they would physically have to spend time checking in and out would cut into precious time they could be spending at the parks.

I neglected to mention that there are four people in the party. As you say, parking at the parks for two days would cost $28. $60.75-28.00=$32.75 Split four ways, you're paying about $8 per person to have three extra hours at Epcot when the lines are shorter, and one hour at DHS when lines are probably the shortest. That sounds like it's worth it to me!

Plus I'm not sure how much time this would actually take. If you show up to early check-in at 8am, you can still be at your park by 9am when it opens.

Anyway, in an attempt to settle this in my mind I just called 407-WDW-MAGI to see whether what I was thinking would work -- and like skyp4WDW I mentioned we would just be using it for EMH and free parking. The CM confirmed that with a one-night reservation they would get free parking and EMH for both check-in and check-out dates, and with a credit card for express checkout one would never have to go back after the 8am early "check-in".

For a few $$ more why not book a room at a value if you really think its a good idea.

The cheapest Value Resort room that night would cost $146.90 -- a difference of $86.15 is not "a few dollars more".

Disneefun
09-25-2012, 01:48 PM
Ethics aside (I have my opinion, but it's already been stated), you don't say when you're going. If you're going at a slower time of year, "paying" to get EMH isn't worth it, IMO. The lines are short anyway and if you just get to the park at opening, you'll have no trouble. In that case, your friends would be better off to just pay for the parking and not waste the money or the time (checking in, etc.) on FW. Save the extra $30/$35 for something else.

arielmomma
09-25-2012, 01:53 PM
Yes, as the others said, it would work.

As a tent camper who has been told the campground is full at times when there are empty sites open all around me b/c of people who book "throw away" sites, I would like to discourage it. While Disney is getting their money, and your family is getting the service they are paying for, it is rude to deny access to families who genuinely want to enjoy the campground. Those sites fill up quickly, especially weekends. Something to consider . . .

d1gitman
09-25-2012, 02:23 PM
if it's technically possible and not breaking any disney rules, i don't see why not. i really don't buy into the argument that renting the campsite and not necessarily using it is not proper. If you rent the site, you are allowed to use it or not use it as you see fit as long as you are within Disney's rules.

in the past we did a long trip where we decided mid trip to stay at a friends house in the Orlando area. for convenience we did not check out and then check back in to Disney the next day. we opted to pay for the night at Disney even though we visited friends offsite and stayed at their house overnight.

to me, saying you shouldn't rent a campsite and not stay at it is like saying if you are staying at Disney you must be doing Disney stuff during hte day. it just doesn't make sense.

Butterbunkins
09-25-2012, 05:20 PM
Could they find someone who wants to use it? I don't how hard it would be, but I bet there is a family out there who could really benefit from not having to spend that money. Then the site wouldn't be "wasted". I'm sure someone could be found either by posting somewhere on the internet or even with the help of a travel agent. Just a thought....

bama_ed
09-25-2012, 05:58 PM
Please tell me whether there is a critical flaw in this plan.

Am I missing something?

Um, yes you are. Disneefun hit the nail on the head. :worship:

Since you plan to be there Nov 11-17, it helps to know what that time of year is like.

First, since it sounds as if your plan is to be at EPCOT on Friday Nov 16 and that is the day/park with the 3 extra evening hours, be forewarned that EVERYONE on property with a park hopper ticket will "hop" on over to EPCOT that evening which sort of negates the purpose of being there in the first place. True you do get three extra hours in the park but do you really want to spend it all in line?

Second, you should check out the expected crowds for that time of year. That's the home run Disneefun hit. I always defer to my friends at touringplans.com (the web site related to the folks who write the Unofficial Guide to WDW). Crowds are extremely EXTREMELY low during the weekdays of your visit generally.

http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-calendar

So the hoppers kill the Friday plan, is it really worth the cost and trouble for one hour on Saturday? Although DHS is not listed as a "Best Park" during the weekdays, it is listed as a "Park to Avoid" during that time but not listed in either place on most. Why not go to DHS on a day it's not listed on either and the best park is a "2" or "1"? The Saturday you plan to be there is a "6". Putting off DHS till Saturday means you are paying extra for bigger crowds instead of going mid-week. That sounds somewhat counterintuitive to me.

Also the TP crowd calendar calls EPCOT on Friday the "Park to Avoid".

So it's up to you but it sounds like an unnecessary expense with little payoff. :groom:

Bama ED

jasontovey
09-25-2012, 06:57 PM
Second, you should check out the expected crowds for that time of year. That's the home run Disneefun hit. I always defer to my friends at touringplans.com (the web site related to the folks who write the Unofficial Guide to WDW). Crowds are extremely EXTREMELY low during the weekdays of your visit generally.

http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-calendar


I actually planned the trip for November 11-17 because of the Crowd Calendar at TouringPlans. Compare it to any week after September and it's just about the least crowded week.

I plan to be in the Magic Kingdom on Friday and be one of the horde that park hops over to Epcot for dinner and EMH. The others we're traveling with plan to be in DHS that day, then hop over for dinner and EMH. With DHS' crowd level at 4.2 that day, they should be able to get it all in in plenty of time for dinner at Epcot.

Even if you we end up standing in line after dinner, I'd rather be there than in bed knowing that Epcot is still open. It does boil down to whether the others think it's worth it for them. At any rate, if we're standing in line we have time to talk.

Plus they're only going to be at WDW for three days, so the extra three hours at Epcot will make a difference.

I know Epcot is supposed to be busy that day, but better to be in a crowded Disney park than sleeping back at the hotel. I'm also hoping MVMCP mitigates the EMH crowd a little bit.

Again, the question wasn't about whether it's worth it to you, or whether you think Tiny Tim is going to go without dinner because we booked a campsite -- just whether the plan is feasible.

Thanks for the input!

jasontovey
09-25-2012, 06:59 PM
As a tent camper who has been told the campground is full at times when there are empty sites open all around me b/c of people who book "throw away" sites...


It sounds like it's a feasible plan, then, if people do it that frequently.

AuntBJ
09-25-2012, 07:06 PM
I believe many on the camping board frown on this practice, so I would suggest we just let this thread die away.

I know I see some posts occasionally on the disabilities board that suggest work-arounds to the system and those threads are quickly ignored and then locked.

Above all, let's not start a debate that could get heated.

Tonka's Skipper
09-26-2012, 05:38 AM
I neglected to mention that there are four people in the party. As you say, parking at the parks for two days would cost $28. $60.75-28.00=$32.75 Split four ways, you're paying about $8 per person to have three extra hours at Epcot when the lines are shorter, and one hour at DHS when lines are probably the shortest. That sounds like it's worth it to me!

Plus I'm not sure how much time this would actually take. If you show up to early check-in at 8am, you can still be at your park by 9am when it opens.

Anyway, in an attempt to settle this in my mind I just called 407-WDW-MAGI to see whether what I was thinking would work -- and like skyp4WDW I mentioned we would just be using it for EMH and free parking. The CM confirmed that with a one-night reservation they would get free parking and EMH for both check-in and check-out dates, and with a credit card for express checkout one would never have to go back after the 8am early "check-in".



The cheapest Value Resort room that night would cost $146.90 -- a difference of $86.15 is not "a few dollars more".


Seems you know its not *right*.......but you want to do it anyway..............so if you pose a snarky issue,you have to expect people to call you on it!

AKK

mouseketeer_mom
09-26-2012, 07:56 AM
To the OP,

I can completely understand the desire to get the most Disney experience for as few dollars as you possibly can. I also understand that you aren't breaking any Disney rules in doing what you are suggesting. For most of us, a trip to Disney is not an average vacation but a special and unique time with our families. If you are not a camper, I would imagine it would be hard to understand why those of us on this board seem to be offended by what you are doing. I can only try to explain that for most of us, camping IS what makes our Disney experience special.

So, let me change the perspective just a bit. Imagine a dear family member is getting married at a remote hotel. You and your extended family look forward to spending time together. The wedding is being held in the hotel. The next closest hotel is about ten miles away. Sure, you could stay there and still see the actual ceremony but it wouldn't be the experience with your family that you were hoping to have.

But, the hotel you want is booked. You couldn't get a room. No family wedding experience for you. But when your family calls, they are baffled... you can't be there but there are numerous empty rooms. You find out that people have booked a hotel room because they really wanted the free continentel breakfast. You couldn't care less about the breakfast. Heck, you would have bought the guy breakfast just to have been able to share the weekend with your family. As far as you are concerned, the perks of a free breakfast are of no consequence. It was the experience you'll miss.

So, some us on this board may have understood your initial post as, "Hey, I know everyone on this board is going to a family wedding at this hotel and I'm not entirely sure when you are planning to go but, I just wanted to make sure I can book a room just for the free breakfast. I'm not actually going to stay there. And, if you can't make it to the family wedding because I wanted the free breakfast, just remember, I'm not breaking any rules!"

I didn't write this to be offensive in any way and it's tough to inflect tone into the written word. Please understand, I'm just trying to offer perspective as to why the responses you gotten may not be of the "absolutely, enjoy your breakfast!" variety.

Have a wonderful vacation!!!

articfox676
09-26-2012, 08:54 AM
Not sure how often this booking situation happens? Perhaps Disney should consider selling the EMH and parking pass package for say the $60 price or so and everyone gets what they want. Just a thought.

NJRRK
09-26-2012, 10:08 AM
To the OP, if your friends book the Hilton at DTD, they will be able to take advantage of EMH, but not free parking.

John VN
09-26-2012, 11:28 AM
To the OP, if your friends book the Hilton at DTD, they will be able to take advantage of EMH, but not free parking.

NJRRK-Just had to ask if you have had any B&W's Heavy Crumb Cake lately!!!!! The BEST :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 Only thing about NJ that I miss since we moved down here in '86.

NJRRK
09-26-2012, 12:09 PM
Off thread alert!!!!!



NJRRK-Just had to ask if you have had any B&W's Heavy Crumb Cake lately!!!!! The BEST :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 Only thing about NJ that I miss since we moved down here in '86.

Try to avoid it. I end up eating way too much of it.

Don't you miss the traffic? Snow? Ice? Turnpike? Parkway?

John VN
09-26-2012, 12:42 PM
Off thread alert!!!!!



Try to avoid it. I end up eating way too much of it.

Don't you miss the traffic? Snow? Ice? Turnpike? Parkway?

I miss them so much it makes me cry every day I wake up. :lmao: :rotfl:

retired and happy
09-26-2012, 03:36 PM
EMH is intended as a perk for guests stasying on Disney property. if you book and don't stay there, you are cheating. I wish there were some penalty they could impose on the cheaters, especially those who impose a No Vacancy of would be campers.

BearwithMouseEars
09-26-2012, 06:52 PM
So let me get this straight . You come to a board for primarily Disney Campers. You want to take a sight that your not going to use and you think your not going to get snarky coments? :scratchin

Marshel
09-27-2012, 03:09 AM
Ethics aside, I highly doubt you'll be able to get a one night Friday night reservation. I've tent camped at the fort before when it was the only way possible for me to afford to stay onsite, it would have been really lousy to have been denied because of someone doing what you are proposing.

KristinU
09-27-2012, 08:49 AM
Ethics aside, the big flaw I see is in the touring plan approach. Personally, I'd save my reservation money and reallocate a small portion of it to a subscription at Touringplans.com or ridemax.com if the visit is during a busy season.

mouse2mouse
09-28-2012, 09:25 AM
If they have Hilton points stay at DTD Hilton and you get the EMH.

Running_Bell
09-28-2012, 10:52 AM
Just FYI about that time of the year... we visited that same time a few years ago and DHS was so crowded on the EMH day/night that we left... maybe it had to do with the Osbourne Lights... We went back to DHS on an non EMH day and crowds were very low and much more enjoyable.

Tigger1966
09-28-2012, 01:30 PM
Not sure how often this booking situation happens? Perhaps Disney should consider selling the EMH and parking pass package for say the $60 price or so and everyone gets what they want. Just a thought.

Not to sound mean but this is the worst idea I've ever heard. EMH is bad enough now since Disney has 25,000 hotel rooms now. I'm sure EMH was great years ago.

Q-man
09-28-2012, 08:54 PM
Staying until midnight at Epcot means 1am-ish return to your hotel and needing to leave by 7am-ish to make the extra magic hour at HS. Are you sure you want to do that? You're looking at 5 hours sleep at best. Are you going to be drinking adult drinks at Epcot? Wouldn't try it myself.

travelitis
10-14-2012, 12:14 AM
Really, the perk is for whomever PAYS for the reservation. Disney does not care if you pay for a room, take the EMH perks but don't sleep there. It also isn't unethical. The cost of the nightly reservation entitles one to sleep there, the use of EMH, and free parking. You have the right to use all or NONE of those, but you have have the legal obligation to PAY no matter what. Disney requires 45 days in advance cancellation, and there are people who end up paying for rooms they can't occupy and that Disney doesn't fill with other guest. Yet by the logic being used by folks on this board, it's unethical to do this, or are you really suggesting you have the right to judge others and impose some secret code of conduct on them? Would you feel better if they slept in a tent rather than a bed and paid for 1 rather than 2 accommodations that night? They aren't paying LESS. They aren't getting a super secret deal that you cannot. Sure, we could all double book hotels AND FW, BUT who wants to??? There aren't many people who want to pay for FW just for EMH and parking. No, we don't want Disney to stoop to Universal's level of selling Fast Passes, but Disney already IS selling EMH by staying on site the only way you can get it. That's fine. On site should have special perks.

Hey, OP, if your friends park their car at their camping spot, maybe people will calm down. Really, I've never thought of it, think it's pretty clever, insane for the sleep deprivation, but I'd go for a family suite at All Star Music or price 2 rooms at All Star Sports (consistently the least expensive resort). On site is the best way to utilize EMH.

travelitis
10-14-2012, 12:26 AM
On site is the best way to utilize EMH means that staying off site and having EMH would cut into your sleeping hours even more. I experienced this when we went to MNSSHP and MVMHP and stayed off site and when we stayed at the CR then moved to an off site condo. I've also been at Disney for the Marathon and up all night for another day of Disney (Leap Year Day). I've had some crazy hours at the parks, and EMH is best with Disney transportation and on-site hotel OR picking only late night or early morning but not following a late night with an early morning. That's my 2 cents, but I do so much Disney that I don't do sleep deprivation (except Leap Year).

North of Mouse
10-16-2012, 05:53 PM
Disney does not require 45 days cancellation :confused3

gratefulfred
10-24-2012, 10:14 PM
Disney does not require 45 days cancellation :confused3I just had a room only reservation for the cabins and they had a 3 day cancellation policy

rudetreehill
10-27-2012, 04:42 PM
Again, the question wasn't about whether it's worth it to you, or whether you think Tiny Tim is going to go without dinner because we booked a campsite -- just whether the plan is feasible.
!

Wow.

Just...

Wow.

Stay classy!

I hope I never find myself so desperate to save $60 that I resort to gaming the system and generally behaving in so tacky a manner.