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Old 02-10-2013, 06:21 AM   #1
Lights_Out
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Is WoC still a hectic fiasco? - Haven't been to DLR in almost 2 years

I absolutely love WoC. However, I remember when I first saw/experienced WoC 2ish years ago... the experience leading up to the show was really bad... crowds, tension, line cutters, waiting 3 hours before the show, ugh. Is it pretty much still the same deal? Go to GRR in the morning and get fastpass and wait 2-3 hours under the red lighthouse before the show starts? We're planning on making Wednesday March 6 our WoC day so hopefully crowds won't be too bad.

Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:34 AM   #2
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I only have one experience with it- and it was FINE!

I pulled FP late in the evening- around 6pm- for a WoC show at 9:15. Went to dinner and came back around 8:50. No lines anymore. Walked into the yellow section where my FP had me and found a great spot near the back but up against a rail. It was just me though- so I was able to pick an opening pretty easily.

Even from back in the back of yellow, I could see all of the show. It may be more spectacular up close, but I was wowed where I was! lol

I looked around to assess if there would have been enough room for me and kids, and we probably needed to be there a bit earlier for a better spot. But there was still room and people were still showing up right until the show started.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
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I showed up in April 2012 with no fast pass about 10 minutes before the show started. I didn't get a spot in front, but I did get a spot on the bridge going over to Paradise Pier. Only 1 line of people in front of me for the entire show and managed to catch it all on video. It was off to the side just a little but it was still a great show and you can still see all the images on the spray.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lights_Out View Post
I absolutely love WoC. However, I remember when I first saw/experienced WoC 2ish years ago... the experience leading up to the show was really bad... crowds, tension, line cutters, waiting 3 hours before the show, ugh. Is it pretty much still the same deal? Go to GRR in the morning and get fastpass and wait 2-3 hours under the red lighthouse before the show starts? We're planning on making Wednesday March 6 our WoC day so hopefully crowds won't be too bad.

Thanks!
In short, no. If you want a for sure good viewing spot then it is still advised to show up 90 minutes early if you want to see the first show. But it is not the confusing mess it used to be. You may get away with 60 minutes early. Reports for the second show are not that common and I would do 60 minutes early for that.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:58 AM   #5
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HydroGuy,

Could you discuss some options for watching the show without a FastPass? I will be there at the end of February and am curious if I could get a decent view somewhere by walking up a few minutes before the show.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbb View Post
HydroGuy,

Could you discuss some options for watching the show without a FastPass? I will be there at the end of February and am curious if I could get a decent view somewhere by walking up a few minutes before the show.
Like I said in my post above I walked up in April about 10 minutes before the show and got a great view on the bridge going over to Paradise Pier. I can't see it being much different in February as it is still considered their off season and the crowds are smaller. I would recommend if you do want a view from the front you get a fastpass. But the view from the bridge is just as good in my opinion, you still see everything and the images are all there.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
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How's it work as far as holding space?
I don't want to get there 90 mins early with four or five kids under 8 and have them going crazy but I also don't want them to show up 15 mins early and make people made.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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I was just there last night (Saturday night). We got a fast pass early in the morning (blue section) and we showed up 20 minutes before the first showing and had great seats). Way less hectic than it used to be (if you get a fast pass). WOC fast passes are disconnected from the rest if the FP system, do it won't affect you getting other fast passes at the same time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainEIEIO View Post
Like I said in my post above I walked up in April about 10 minutes before the show and got a great view on the bridge going over to Paradise Pier. I can't see it being much different in February as it is still considered their off season and the crowds are smaller. I would recommend if you do want a view from the front you get a fastpass. But the view from the bridge is just as good in my opinion, you still see everything and the images are all there.
If you look at the OP you can see a photo from last October of the blue section line 90 minutes before the first show. What you are describing (arrive 10 minutes early and get a great view) I have never come close to seeing happen in over 10 times viewing WOC. If anyone else wants to follow the "arrive 10 minutes before WOC and you can find a good spot" strategy then more power to you. I am not denying your experience. I am just denying that it represents anything close to the norm.

As I and others have said repeatedly over the last 2+ years, if everyone in your group is tall (say 6 feet or so) then you have more options to see WOC. If you have any children, they just plain will not be able to see unless you are at a rail spot. And many of the rail spots to the side are not that great. Center rail spots are best. And the best strategy to get these is to arrive at minimum 60 minutes before the show - with 90 minutes being preferred.

The number of reports of families who could not see WOC and were frustrated outnumber the reports of "we showed up 10 minutes before and could see just fine" by about a factor of 100 if not 1000.

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmband View Post
How's it work as far as holding space?
I don't want to get there 90 mins early with four or five kids under 8 and have them going crazy but I also don't want them to show up 15 mins early and make people made.
Great question. Basically my advice is to have the entire group or most of the entire group wait to hold your spot. If 4-5 kids leave with an adult for an extended period (bathroom breaks not counted) then you will have a tough time holding your spot. Especially if it is a good spot. Can it be done? Yes, but you may have some angry folks around you which is just not very magical.

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbb View Post
HydroGuy,

Could you discuss some options for watching the show without a FastPass? I will be there at the end of February and am curious if I could get a decent view somewhere by walking up a few minutes before the show.
The options are all listed in the WOC Superthread linked in my signature area below this post.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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We went in October, and we got in line towards the end of the first show. We were maybe 15 people from the front of the line. We got a spot against the front railing in the center. The second show was definitely not crowded at all. So based on our experience, showing up 90 minutes early is unnecessary, as is getting a Fastpass.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Could you discuss some options for watching the show without a FastPass?
Our best without-a-fastpass viewing was behind the show. We stood up against the rail near the food vendor location (hot dogs? corn on the cob?) across from the Toy Story ride. There are a few things you miss not seeing the show from the front and any words displayed on the water screens are backwards, but it's still a respectable view for someone who doesn't want to or can't get a fastpass or for someone who just happens to be strolling through at the right time. We showed up about 10 minutes before the show started.

I have heard also that on slow nights, it's sometimes possible to view the second show without a fastpass due to low capacity. I don't think we've ever visited the park at such a time (we go during school breaks, weekends, holidays and summer), so I haven't been able to try this out myself.

ETA: The two times we watched the show from behind were first showings on nights when two WoC showings were offered. One was during summertime, and one was during President's Day weekend two years ago. We actually finally watched the show from the viewing area again during Thanksgiving week this last year. We had blue fastpasses for the first show, don't remember which night but it was before Thanksgiving so earlier in the week. We arrived at least 30 minutes ahead of time, and it was quite the cattleherd. We managed to secure rail spots on I think the third tier toward the left side which turned out to be a much more respectable view than the previous time we had fastpass viewing.

Last edited by longtimedisneylurker; 02-10-2013 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
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We went in October, and we got in line towards the end of the first show. We were maybe 15 people from the front of the line. We got a spot against the front railing in the center. The second show was definitely not crowded at all. So based on our experience, showing up 90 minutes early is unnecessary, as is getting a Fastpass.
But that works only if there is a second showing of WoC. That only happens at busier times of the year.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:28 PM   #15
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I have been wondering and worrying about this too. Sorry to hijack; I couldn't decide which was less annoying: asking all my questions here, or starting yet another new thread...
WoC really is the only thing that is stressing me about our upcoming trip. I've never done the Park with kids and I've never been there for WoC and it seems hectic. But is DH's only MUST-DO. (I want to see it too, but would be tempted to skip it or go watch it from the back side, because we have small kids and I don't want it to be a bad experience!)

We are going February 27th - March 1st, and will try to see WoC the first night (a Weds). It -shouldn't- be super crowded. Do you think an hour ahead of time would be decent, or not enough to get a good spot? I understand that when they walk you from the queue to the waiting area we should send one parent to secure a spot while the other makes their way through the crowd (more slowly) with the stroller. Right?

How much of the 60-90 minutes of waiting is standing? I have a touch of plantar fascitis that's been giving me issues, and that is going to be a problem (especially that time of night) if I have to stand that whole time. But if it's sitting, and I was holding our spot (with our double jogger) while my DH entertained our 3 small kids (or 2 of them at least) elsewhere for a while, when would they need to come back? 45 minutes before? 30 minutes before? They can sit and wait, but 8:15 is already after their bedtime, so standing waiting would be a little intense for all involved. Another idea would be for one parents to run get food and bring it back to the line. Is there a reason this won't work? Can we have food in that line? What is the best strategy for those with a double stroller and young children? Also, would it be considered rude if we let our 5 and 6 year old stand in the stroller if needed, to see? This wouldn't make them any taller than a short adult...

I am just so anxious about this. Mostly I don't want to wait forever and then still have a bad experience, but I don't want to do anything that will offend (reasonable) people either. (This is a very low-budget trip, so the reserved dining is out of the question, but we won't get to go again for another 2-3 years, so... we need to see this show!) Any suggestions to help me relax and just look forward to it?
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