View Full Version : Do DVC members qualify for Magical Gathering Tours?

02-07-2004, 02:07 PM
I'm wondering if any other DVC'ers have found out about the four Magical Gathering tours (for groups 8+)... as DVC members are we able to book these tours? Or, are they only for package tours?

Here's some info on them, I found more on the Theme park board also...

If we are able to book these do we go through Member Services to do it? How far in advance?



Happy Birthday Cat
02-07-2004, 03:38 PM
I can tell you that as DVC members we do qualify. We are going with a group of 12 next Thanksgiving and I had the same question as you. I was told yes and they sent me our Magical Gatherings planner which is sitting on my coffee table unopened. We are waiting until we get back from our cruise next week to start planning next November. Who we make the reservations through and how far in advance I'm still unsure.


02-07-2004, 03:46 PM
Yes, DVC members qualify. You have to book your stay first and then tell the MS rep that you want to be a Grand Gathering. They have to conference call in the MG people and give them your info. You are then assigned a GG number and given a number to call for MG events.

You can't book these events until 90 days out.

02-07-2004, 04:35 PM
We have our grand gathering number for our December trip. They are supposed to send me information via e-mail regarding what's available to book, but I haven't gotten anything yet. I don't think the video was especially informative as far as specifics.


02-07-2004, 04:40 PM
bobbiwoz, if you get something via e-mail would you please post? I was given a phone number to call for info, PS, etc.

02-07-2004, 04:59 PM
I'll be sure to post whatever I get!


02-07-2004, 06:35 PM
I had already made our dvc reservations last year at the 11 month window. Then I heard about the Grand Gatherings and called the number. They told me I had to call MS to get my reservation changed to a Grand Gathering.

They did not have to conference call anyone. Once they had the information, it was in the system, and all I did was call back the number and booked our Magic Fireworks Cruise for the 8 of us!

This will be great, as I tried to get the Illuninations cruise, but they changed the booking window from 60 to 90 days and I litterly missed the boat! LOL

We are taking friends, and I had bragged about the cruise. This way, I get to see a new fireworks cruise and they are not disappointed! Costs a little bit more, but they have Disney trivia and you get to see Peter Pan upon return to the dock.

02-07-2004, 06:39 PM
I just made myDec reservation in January and I did have to wait on hold while the MS rep conferenced with the Magical Gatherings people.

Maybe I got someone who does it different. Maybe it changed since you or I did it. But that's how it happened when I got my Grand Gatherings number.

02-07-2004, 09:16 PM
We just returned from an 8 night stay with 10 family members. We did the magical gatherings but as I have posted on a couple of occasions on the theme parks boards and it was painful at times. Hopefully they have worked out some of the bugs. We had our DVC ressies in Feb. of last year and booked the Magical Gatherings in November. To make a very long story short, we ended up only getting to do the fireworks cruise, which we enjoyed very much. The 4 Grand Gatherings events are each offered only a couple of days a week currently. Getting the Magical Gatherings ID through DVC is somewhat more complicated that those booking everything through CRO for their rooms, etc. I must say they have done a great job of trying to apologize for our problems and even gave us a private dessert reception and viewing for our family only on our last night there. This was free and their way of apologizing for all the problems we had booking the only event we ended up being able to see. In addition, I received a call last week from the WDW Executive office offering to reimburse us for all the long distance calls made over the couple of months trying to make ressies. I think as they get all their issues worked out it will be a wonderful program.

02-07-2004, 10:54 PM
I just wanted to thank everyone for the information! I know it's a long way off, but does anyone know/think they will offer the MK Wishes tour or the EPCOT tour for NYE of this year? If they would, that would be fantastic... Otherwise we'll be keeping ourselves busy on the BW...

Can anyone confirm that these events need to be booked at 90 days out? I'll call MS on Monday to get our ID, I just want to be sure I know what I'm talking about! Oh, one more thing, the other party that we will be with hasn't booked their accomodation yet, is that going to be a problem in getting our Magical Gathering ID?


02-08-2004, 08:16 AM
Don't know if the tours will be offered. I just know I was told I couldn't book anything until 90 days out.

I don't think they will give you your ID without having 8 people already booked to stay on site. If you already have 8, it should be a problem to add that other party once they book. It's just my understanding that they won't assign you an ID without having 8 people with confirmed reservations staying on site.

Definitely call MS and see what's up.

02-08-2004, 08:30 PM
You must prepay in full any of the 4 Grand Gatherings events 90 days out. The tours must be new. The only things offered to us were the Animal Kingdom Safari, the Epcot dinner, the fireworks cruise for Wishes and a Magic Kingdom character breakfast.

02-08-2004, 08:55 PM
Funny, they charged my credit card for the 8 of us for the fireworks cruise and then refunded it.

Not sure why, but I am going to call them up and make sure they haven't cancelled my reservation.

02-09-2004, 10:40 AM
I certainly would double check as billing is one of several problems I had. Actually they are the one that called me to say they didn't know if they had charge me twice or not. They were concerned and didn't have a good trail so I had to research with my credit card company only to find out it was only charged once. This wouldn't have been a big deal if I then didn't have to make another long call to them to give them the answer. By the time I was done with all my Magical Gatherings calls, I had spent almost 4 hours on the spread out between approximately 6 calls. Needless to say, it was very painful. My original call took 90" just to get my Magical Gatherings number and make one ressie. The shortest call I made was 20". Each time they would do the research as to where I was staying and couldn't find it as I was a DVC member so then they would call to confirm our room ressie. I had given them my confirmation number on 2 occasions but that didn't get entered either. All the CMs were very nice but it became very frustrating. After I had done the research on the credit card they called back 2 days later to cancel since we were the only family booked that day for the Epcot dinner, so I would ask about the size of the group and the possibility of cancelling.

02-09-2004, 10:49 AM
Well, I called Magical Gatherings and after being on the phone for over 1/2 hour. They figured out that their computer had a glitch and let the CM book me for the Fireworks Cruise, however, there was actually no availability. So, they cancelled it and refunded my money, but never called to tell me.

Well, if I hadn't looked at my Amex bill, I would never have know and would have shown up.

Needless to say, I started crying on the phone. You see, we are taking our Best Man's family down with us. I had glowingly talked of our experience on the Illumincations cruise, but they changed the booking window from 60 to 90 days, so I missed out on that.

But when I read about the fireworks cruise for Magic Kingdom, I jumped on it.

I asked to talk to a manager, which I did, and in between sobs, explained to her that we have 4 children and 4 adults who have been dreaming about this vacation and this special moment and getting to meet Peter Pan at the end. I told her how I rearranged Priority Seatings so that we could eat at the Contemporary after the cruise.

I wanted,.... I needed some similar experience! She will call me later today to let me know if she could work something out.

I will let you all know what happend. I am so glad that I called, I would be more upset to show up and not be able to get on.

02-09-2004, 06:23 PM
MCazer - Just an FYI, I would recommend you Email guest services with your complaint. That is what I did with my experiences. At first you receive a canned response but then I was contacted before we left and they offered to do the Epcot dessert reception and viewing for our group only free of charge as a way of saying they were sorry for all the trouble. And again,
last week WDW exectutive offices called to offer reimbursement for our phone calls. I think they need to know the trouble some of us our having with the Magical Gatherings, especially as much as they are advertising it.

02-09-2004, 07:33 PM
Well, someone called me back, and they managed to get a pontoon boat for us leaving from the Contemp. @ the same time. This was we can interact with the Pirates before boarding our private pontoon, and then meet Peter Pan when it is over.

We will not be able to enjoy the Disney Trivia on board the other boat, and the interaction with the cast members.

They pontoon boat is less expensive, so we are saving almost $60, so at least there is a plus side, and it seems we will have a private boat ride. This should be nice.

They are going to call me back to give me all the details and will also email me. Cross your fingers!

CEEJAY13, could you send me the email address for Guest Services? (Mcazer@aol.com).


02-10-2004, 08:45 PM
MCazer-The web address to voice your concern is http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/contact/contactUs.

03-07-2004, 11:09 AM
Just wanted to let everyone know, we did get on the Magical Gatherings Fireworks cruise. Someone cancelled and they accomodated us.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed that we would not have our own private pontoon boat, but it was wonderful!

The interaction with all the families and the pirate onboard was fantastic. The night was clear, the electric water pageant was beautiful and the Fireworks over the Magic Kingdom were breathtaking!

The kids got to have cookies and and hot chocolate, and more cookies and cake.... etc...

They got to mingle with Hook, and Smee and upon returning to the dock, they met up with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, who was inside her lantern!

They each received a Peter Pan book and we all got a Disney Pin. Some children also won prizes (even one from our party!).

Definately worth the money! Do it if you can!