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Old 06-06-2013, 01:23 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, 01:36 AM   #2
asta
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Oh my!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:53 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, 02:29 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, 06:44 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, 07:00 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, 07:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmeck View Post
You really asked them to move a pump/generator?
I don't think they asked if it could be moved, just asked if it could be shut off for a little while.

OP - my goodness! You handled that whole thing so much better than my husband would have. I'm glad you finally got to the MK and soooo sorry that it was a less than magical experience. Hopefully your next park visit more than makes up for it!
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmeck View Post
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.
I worked at MK back in 2000 & only dealt with 2 rude guests my entire 5 months interning there. Hubby's friend's gf helped open the new Fantasyland & she told me guests were out of control & she got yelled at everyday. Some guests can be out of control not ALL. We saw it on our last trip & were appalled of some of the things we saw. I feel for the Cm's nowadays. I believe that you get what you give out to the world. If you give honey you will get honey in return....
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:10 AM   #9
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Wow! Kudos to you for not losing it! They really need to do something about the monorail. I think a two hour wait to get to the Magic Kingdom would have ruined my day.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
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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 06-06-2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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OMG.

You handled that gracefully. That line for the ferry was insane.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rwdavis2 View Post
On one of the podcasts a castmember said the ferrr is almost always quicker than a resort monorail. More capacity.
very true IMO - ferry can hold up to 600 people whereas a monorail can "only " hold 200 - or so I'm told.

I really like both methods of transportation but there's something special about traveling across the lagoon towards the castle.

We've been there when both monorail and ferry are down and had to take the bus from TTC - not ideal. It stopped at the Poly, at GF, at CR and then finally went to MK - we missed RD that day and I was not a happy camper. However it was nothing compared to what the OP went through!!
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #13
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Geez. 2 HOURS to get in the front gates. There really is no excuse for that and while I am sure it's coming from the apologists, I don't see how anyone could argue that is unacceptable.

As far as the cast members.. well its two fold. Guests are crankier, making cast members crankier, making guests crankier.. etc. Hard to say what the source is. It's probably part guest entitlement and part things breaking down all the time and people being stressed at being packed in like sardines and having to deal with things like waiting 2 HOURS to start their day.

I won't even take the monorail anymore because it's stops or is delayed or breaks down all the time. Not a risk I want to take most days.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #14
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We've been in a line like that at GF waiting for the boat when the monorail was down for some reason, last December, trying to get to rope drop. The line was for the regular resort small boat service, not a large ferry. It was frustrating for sure. I thought of going to the bus stop or getting a cab, but those options would have also taken a lot of time, and we didn't know for sure there was bus service to MK, there were no CM's giving info to those in line for the boat... The resort boat ran the regular route that day too, GF, POLY, MK. Once we finally got to MK we didn't go to Guest Services to complain, figuring things happen just move on. Sorry to hear its still happening.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #15
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You just reconfirmed my love for hoppers. If I would've seen that line, I would've turned around and gone to a different park for a few hours!

Glad you were still able to salvage your day!
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