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Old 06-06-2013, 12:23 AM   #1
eticketride
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Challenging day at MK

Edit to add: I just realized this is pretty long. If you make it to the end, thanks for reading!

So we loaded up the family truckster this morning and managed to get to Simba 14 by 8:45. Not as early as I had hoped, but still early enough to get our FP's to PP and make a beeline for ETWB before the hordes showed up.

First sign of trouble was a HUGE line that looked like it was for the monorail, so we say, no problem, we'll take the ferry. Whoops, that line was for the ferry; the monorails were down. The ferry line wound all the way back to past the entrance to the monorail. While standing in line, we see the resort monorail starts running, so we hop out of line, verify with a CM that the monorail is a go and we pat ourselves on the back as we depart over that huge ferry line. It was short-lived.

After we pulled into the Grand Floridian, the doors stayed open for a little while. Then it's about 5 minutes. Then it's about 10 minutes and the people that were in line from the resort all turn around and leave. That's a bad sign. A few minutes later, there is an announcement that there is another monorail on this track that is not running, so we may be delayed awhile longer. There goes the express monorail the other way. Cool, looks like they got that working. Then they make another announcement that extra ferry boats are being diverted to here and they will be traveling directly to the gates. So I get out and ask what's up, the CM tells me that monorail isn't going anywhere for a long time and recommends we take one of the extra express boats that are being diverted to cover for the broken monorail. Ok, sounds great.

So we head down to the ferry landing and find this:



Maybe so they couldn't hear anybody complain, this was running right next to the line. When my wife asked if they could maybe move it or turn it off for awhile, the maintenance guy told her he wasn't sure, there weren't usually that many people standing there. That's helpful.



Here's a picture of the extra boats running express. This was actually not that representive of what was usually happening because you can actually see a resort boat in that picture.



The resort monorail started running again around 10 or so. We debated going back to the monorail several times, but it was a damned if you do, damned if you don't. We didn't want to risk getting out of this line and getting stuck on the monorail again.

Finally at 10:26 we got on the boat. Here we are heading "directly" to the MK gates, just as promised an hour ago.



"Wait," you say. "That looks like the Poly." Well, you would be correct. Our express shuttle went to Poly before going back across the lake. By the time we got off the boat, it was almost 11.

My wife went to guest services (another 20 minutes in line) to see if anyone cared enough to sprinkle some pixie dust our way. Instead, the CM flat out expressed disbelief in the story, never apologized for the inconvenience and failed to understand how missing rope drop could severely cripple a touring plan. (By the time we got off the boat, PP's FP return was already 3.5 hours away). She begrudgingly gave two anytime/anywhere fastpasses for the entire party, with no smile or anything else that would suggest the customer service industry was a good match for her skill set.

While I'm at it, we ran into way more rude CMs than not today. And I really do go out of my way to talk to them and be nice because I think Disney is a fun place to be and I want to think it's a fun place to work. We had a couple positive interactions with CM's, but that unfortunately was ruined by way more that think it is ok to yell as loudly as they can, "DO NOT STOP IN THE LINE. DO NOT STOP IN THE LINE. DO NOT STOP IN THE LINE!" (not directed at us) or "YOU CANNOT STOP HERE, THIS IS NOT A PLACE TO HIDE FROM THE RAIN! KEEP MOVING!!" or my personal favorite way to treat a customer I saw today, take the customer's meal receipt, rip it to show it was correct and then toss it back across the counter to them without saying anything. When that happened to the people behind us, I explained to the confused mom that what that whole thing really means is, "Here, let me check your receipt to make sure I have your correct order. Yes, I see that everything is here. Here you go, I hope you enjoy your meal." Seriously, are there just not enough 20 year olds with people skills out there anymore?

Having complained about all that, I will say that we were able to do almost everything we planned on, we just had to juggle some things. The rain held out for the most part until 4 and we were able to work around the monsoon. The two magic fastpasses allowed us to not waste a 2 hour FP on PP, so that freed us up for other rides, and through all of those trials, the kids still had a great time, we have plenty of pictures with lots of smiles, we stayed dry (until they started puddle hopping in the parking lot), we have a couple of good stories to tell about the time it took two hours to get across the lake. In the end, that's really all that matters.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
asta
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Oh my!
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
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Your ability to maintain a sense of humor about it all the same day it happened is pretty amazing. What a hassle! We had one not-so-magical morning on our trip (no fault of Disney's), and I'm still not quite to the "laugh about it" point almost two weeks later. I hope you at least have another day in the MK to try to get to things you may have been kept from. If not, way to make the best of a potentially bad situation!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:29 AM   #4
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I would be extremely annoyed if it took 2 hours to get from TTC to MK. That is a lot of wasted time. I don't know if I would risk getting on a monorail that wasn't working and then suddenly fixed, especially with all the problems lately. You are lucky it at least made it to the stop at the GF.

I thought in the past when serious issues with the monorail/ferry have come up they will run buses from the TTC to MK?
Am I mistaken in thinking they have done that before? I know they have run buses from TTC to Epcot when that monorail went down, because I had to take one, only to see a crowded monorail pass overhead about half way.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:44 AM   #5
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I hate the monorail. There I said it. I felt really unsafe so high up off the ground and it kept stopping (Twice in the Contemporary!). I was frightened we were going to get stuck in the middle of the route. Next time it's the resort bus or ferryboat!
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:00 AM   #6
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You really asked them to move a pump/generator? Looks like it was in use, so where were they supposed to put it, someplace where it wouldn't reach the needed area?

I'm worried about the monorail system, as it seems to be down a lot more than usual. Surprised though that they didn't commandeer a few buses to lighten the boatloads.

I know why the CMs are sounding more rude these days - it's a direct reflection of some customer behaviors that have been getting out of hand. It seems that everyone is getting more rude, or oblivious to others, and then CMs have to be incredibly blunt to get people to move. I don't think it's the 20 years old, I think it is the guests. We've never run into a rude CM, only rude guests.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkly View Post
I hate the monorail. There I said it. I felt really unsafe so high up off the ground and it kept stopping (Twice in the Contemporary!). I was frightened we were going to get stuck in the middle of the route. Next time it's the resort bus or ferryboat!
On one of the podcasts a castmember said the ferrr is almost always quicker than a resort monorail. More capacity.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkly View Post
I hate the monorail. There I said it. I felt really unsafe so high up off the ground and it kept stopping (Twice in the Contemporary!). I was frightened we were going to get stuck in the middle of the route. Next time it's the resort bus or ferryboat!
I hate the monorail for just those reasons. Yes when it works it is fabulous. But these days we have been stuck more often then not when dealing with it. Nothing worse then a stuck on a stinky hot monorail. I guess stuck in a stinky hot monorail with a whole crowd of people and unable to sit.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eticketride View Post
First sign of trouble was a HUGE line that looked like it was for the monorail, so we say, no problem, we'll take the ferry. Whoops, that line was for the ferry; the monorails were down. The ferry line wound all the way back to past the entrance to the monorail.
My heart stopped when I got this far in your post - this is my LEAST favorite sight at MK..... walking through the gates at TTC & seeing the ferry line stretttttttttttch out past the monorail.

OP - good for you for keeping your humor & good spirits during this challenge! I hope you get a major sprinkle of pixie dust before your trip is over!
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:27 PM   #10
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Good grief! My hat is off to you OP for getting through such a challenging, and frustrating situation. When I saw those lines at the GF, I think I would have taken a taxi to another park until the dust had settled. Too bad about the rude CM's. Granted they have bad days too, and this day was off the tracks, but that does not give them a license to be snarky with guests.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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Wow. I would be super annoyed at that whole situation. And I have to say...we noticed way more unfriendly CMs on our 2012 and 2013 trips. Of course there were good ones, but there were some horribly awful and indifferent ones. Just downright unhappy. It's unfortunate. Hope the rest of your day was magical!
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #12
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This is why I personally believe CR has the upper hand against the other monorail resorts as if worst comes to worst and the lines are looking bad, you can take that 10 minute walk.
The monorail seems to be having problems (reading reports here and own recent experiences). Those lines are only going to get worse when the DVC villas open at GF too
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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Sorry your experience sucked. Information getting to the CM's can go such a long way. I'm willing to bet that the CM's rudeness was because thousands of people were pissed about their experiences with transportation, and it all just escalates.

If the CM's were told about what was going on, they would have been better prepared to handle the disgruntled guests.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mattsdragon View Post
Sorry your experience sucked. Information getting to the CM's can go such a long way. I'm willing to bet that the CM's rudeness was because thousands of people were pissed about their experiences with transportation, and it all just escalates.

If the CM's were told about what was going on, they would have been better prepared to handle the disgruntled guests.
I wish I could agree with you, but the fact that she didn't believe us shows that we were the first to bring it to her attention. And the guy at the Pinocchio restaurant who threw the receipt at everyone he encountered and didn't talk to them had nothing to do with the transportation issue. It's really just representative of service/society in general today and the lack of manners. I get that. I just wish the "happiest place on Earth" could be an exception.

Thanks to everyone who offered their thoughts. I was fit to be tied yesterday at 11 am. Now it's a pretty funny story that I can pull out whenever people are telling Disney horror stories.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by eticketride View Post
My wife went to guest services (another 20 minutes in line) to see if anyone cared enough to sprinkle some pixie dust our way. Instead, the CM flat out expressed disbelief in the story, never apologized for the inconvenience and failed to understand how missing rope drop could severely cripple a touring plan.
Wow, the time it took to get to the MK must have been frustrating. However, in regards to this quoted portion, I would suggest to you that this is just human nature based upon all the selfish people the CMs in that room probably deal with on a daily basis so it is probably normal for CMs to sooner or later quit believe all the stories they are told because so many of them are lies. So, I wouldn't blame the CM, I would blame your fellow humans on this one.
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