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Old 02-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #1
dwheaton
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Magical Parking Spot

So I went to DW two weeks ago with my wife, two-year-old daughter, and two grandparents. We had a great time and spent five days in the parks, but there was one strange moment.

On our final day, we visited the Animal Kingdom. We pulled into the Parking Lot at about 9:30, and the attendant gave us a "magical moment parking space", which was one of only six offered that day (I forget the exact title of it). This was fairly exciting since we had a stroller and wouldn't have to walk very far; also the grandparents were getting worn out. We pulled over to that area, and all six spots were taken. Apparently, one minivan parked in that spot without the special tag. I'm not sure if they accidentally parked there or were trying to sneak into a quicker spot.

At this point, I wasn't sure what to do, so I temporarily pulled into a handicapped spot and figured I'd quickly ask a cast member about it. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone, and when I checked with a security guy, he was really rude and told me to get my car out of there. I decided it wasn't worth risking a handicapped penalty, so I pulled into the AAA preferred spot and left the magical moment paper in the dashboard. In a weird way, this nice gesture from Disney had created more annoyance than just parking regularly.

I was ready to let it go and enjoy the park, but my father-in-law was angry about it. I think after five days of touring, he was worn out. He's a Disney novice who was mainly along for the ride. So he complained to several cast members, who were nice but had no idea what he was talking about. Finally, he went into Guest Relations, and they apologized and gave a few Fastpasses. Considering that it took like a half-hour for all of this to happen and it wasn't a busy day (a February Friday), it wasn't that exciting. Thankfully, the craziness died down and we still had a fun day, finishing the trip with Wishes that night at the MK. It was a wonderful trip and this in no way denigrated it; it was just a really random experience.

I'm curious if anyone else has had a similar experience with Disney's special parking spots. Has it gone off without a hitch? This is a minor situation that could have been fixed easily if Disney had any staff in the area. It just seemed deserted, which is rare even during the off-season. Any similar experiences?
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwheaton View Post
So I went to DW two weeks ago with my wife, two-year-old daughter, and two grandparents. We had a great time and spent five days in the parks, but there was one strange moment.

On our final day, we visited the Animal Kingdom. We pulled into the Parking Lot at about 9:30, and the attendant gave us a "magical moment parking space", which was one of only six offered that day (I forget the exact title of it). This was fairly exciting since we had a stroller and wouldn't have to walk very far; also the grandparents were getting worn out. We pulled over to that area, and all six spots were taken. Apparently, one minivan parked in that spot without the special tag. I'm not sure if they accidentally parked there or were trying to sneak into a quicker spot.

At this point, I wasn't sure what to do, so I temporarily pulled into a handicapped spot and figured I'd quickly ask a cast member about it. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone, and when I checked with a security guy, he was really rude and told me to get my car out of there. I decided it wasn't worth risking a handicapped penalty, so I pulled into the AAA preferred spot and left the magical moment paper in the dashboard. In a weird way, this nice gesture from Disney had created more annoyance than just parking regularly.

I was ready to let it go and enjoy the park, but my father-in-law was angry about it. I think after five days of touring, he was worn out. He's a Disney novice who was mainly along for the ride. So he complained to several cast members, who were nice but had no idea what he was talking about. Finally, he went into Guest Relations, and they apologized and gave a few Fastpasses. Considering that it took like a half-hour for all of this to happen and it wasn't a busy day (a February Friday), it wasn't that exciting. Thankfully, the craziness died down and we still had a fun day, finishing the trip with Wishes that night at the MK. It was a wonderful trip and this in no way denigrated it; it was just a really random experience.

I'm curious if anyone else has had a similar experience with Disney's special parking spots. Has it gone off without a hitch? This is a minor situation that could have been fixed easily if Disney had any staff in the area. It just seemed deserted, which is rare even during the off-season. Any similar experiences?
Their was no reason he had to be rude about it he could of told you nicely to move.

Even though the security cm was rude he saved you a 250 ticket for parking in a h/c spot without tags.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
dwheaton
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That is true. I wouldn't have left the car there, however. My fellow passengers said it was probably okay, but I wasn't going to take any chances. Not worth that headache and fine for sure.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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The handicapped space was definitely a no-no. I would say that it was okay to park in a large self service preferred area such as AAA or DVC and not seek out anyone to ask. (If a CM took the initiative to come over then it is okay to leave it to him to continue the conversation past the "hi, how are you" and he should then guide you.)
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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Oh, that's just a bummer that something that should have been nice turned into an annoyance. And that the security guy couldn't come out of his "get out of that spot" mood to HELP you. (especially since you never planned on STAYING there, just needed a spot to sit in while finding a CM to help)

I'm glad your FIL took it to GR, though, because there's a chance the problem was passed along so that future magical parking spot moments won't include that problem!
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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I'm sorry you had that experience.
In August, my friend and I received that pass and we drove right up to our spot in the Animal Kingdom. We used it again at Epcot later that day.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
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Glad GR could make up a little for you.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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They should stop giving out those Parking Spots.

If someone else parks there, people will get mad, like your FIL. The customers are disappointed and the Guest Service agents have more work to do.

If they have any sense, they'll discontinue this.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:56 PM   #9
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Hi OP!! We're neighbors (sort of!)!! I have never heard of these magical spots but I'm sure it was a nice surprise. Its a little irritating that the spot was taken, but it sounds like it all worked out!!! I'm glad you had a good trip!
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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Hi OP!! We're neighbors (sort of!)!! I have never heard of these magical spots but I'm sure it was a nice surprise. Its a little irritating that the spot was taken, but it sounds like it all worked out!!! I'm glad you had a good trip!
Thanks! We definitely had a great trip. Unbelievable weather (70s and 80s with no rain), and very little waits for anything throughout the week. Our daughter had a blast and didn't get scared on anything we did.

My only surprise with this issue was the lack of cast members around. I'm sure if one had been around, the confusion wouldn't have been there at all. I also wasn't aware that they did the magical parking spots, so it was a cool surprise, regardless of the outcome.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #11
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I totally understand, CM's give out Magical moments and sometimes they turn sour ) Glad you got some FP's and even though you didn't need them your parents felt better.

Ours was when we were waiting for Indiana Jones and my dd got into a conversation with a CM about several silly things including the fact that my dd loves the show, they had a great chat and then the CM moved on. When the line started to move the CM came back and gave my dd a special pass for VIP seating and said she was glad to meet her.

When we got to the front my dd proudly presented the pass and the CM was extrememly rude and said that the section was full and it was standing room only. My dd broke down in tears - not because of the SRO but beacuse of how the CM yelled at her. I just chaulked it up to "stuff happens" and we left the line.

Fortunately for my DD a manager asked her why she was crying and my sister stepped in and showed the CM the pass the first CM gave my dd and "explained" how rude the CM at the entrance was. The manger was able to find seats for 4 of the 6 of us so I took my youngest for ice cream and all was well. But yes it was a "magical gesture" from one CM that was turned sour by another

I did visit guest relations to fill out opinion cards about the CM that gave my dd the pass as well as a few others including an awesome friendship boat driver and unfortunately the CM who was IMHO rude to my dd.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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At all my times at Disney I've only once had a rude CM. I jotted down her name afterwards and put it in my bag and was going to write a letter about it when I got home... l lost the note.

It was at Sorin in epcot. I really should have complained on site...

Other than that, it's sometimes been nauseating how nice they've all been
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #13
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Are parking passes somehow marked as good for only that day and only good at that specific park? I'm just wondering if all spots were full due to someone using theirs at AK and it was issued at, for example, MK? Or maybe even issued on a previous day.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:54 AM   #14
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We were given one of the passes at AK last year. Although one of the PP's is saying it should be discontinued- I disagree. For our family it really was a very special surprise and remains a nice memory for all of us. I can't imagine that is something that happens all the time and causes that many problems - if if did you can be sure it would have been stopped by now.

To me it is one of those nice little things that really set WDW apart from other theme parks - doesn't cost them anything and makes a little kids day a bit more magical.

So sorry someone took your spot - you seem to have a good attitude about it, I am sure there would be some others that would have made quite the scene about it.."I demand a night in the castle suite as compensation"...lol
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:44 AM   #15
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I wonder if someone with a handicapped permit happened to drive by and was unable to park because you were in that spot while you were searching for a CM and then security?
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