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Old 07-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
rhazz
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EMH at AK driving glitch

Excuse me if this has already been covered, but I never came across this situation in my research so I thought I'd pass it on as a consideration for those driving to AK on EMH morning. This morning, 7/1, I left Pop Century with loaded car since we were checking out today and heading directly to AK for EMH opening, our final day at WDW. We left Pop and arrived at tollbooth at AK at 7am, an hour before opening, and sat at toll until it finally opened at 7:30am!!! We sat there looking at all of the busses passing us heading right in and dropping off 100's of passengers. It took a full half hour before they took away the orange cones and attendants came out, allowing cars through the tolls.

By the time we got to the entrance, the crowd was well past the ticketbooths....so frustrating!!!! We are avid believers that it's rope drop or die. We are huge EE fans and left for this park, with only 5 hours sleep from the EMH evening hours at MK the night before, for our last WDW day, so to say I was let down is a huge understatement, of course I kept reassuring the kids saying it was going to be fine....and as it turned out it really was. We were able to do EE 5 times, PW, Dinosaur and Safari all before 11am.

I like to believe Karma played a role. I always try to make a point to my kids that you always help those who need a hand, and the day before, in the midst of the jostling and chaos of visiting 3 parks, I tried to show them that you still hold doors for others, always help a mother to carry a stroller up some stairs, and you definitely should run after a child in FantasyLand who dropped his WDW ticket at Midnight.

Guess I got side tracked from the original intent of this thread, but I thought I'd give a heads up to anyone who was looking to drive to EMH morning hours....the tollbooth opening could be a situation that could leave you wishing you took the bus instead.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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Wow..interesting. We did five days in a row of rope drop on our recent visit, three of which were early EMH. We took the bus every day except the last day when we drove ourselves to Epcot as we were staying at POFQ which is only 5-10 minute drive...and fortunately the parking toll booth was open! We were one of the first cars to park there.

This must have been very frustrating for you. I understand, as I am one of those who shows up an hour early for EMH!!
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #3
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So sorry it happened to you.

I have been warning DISer's about this situation for years.

DAK's parking lot is notorious for opening far later than those of the other theme parks.

It might not happen this way every day, but it happens often enough for me to say...

Those who wish to be at AM EMH or who have early restaurant ADR's are better served by taking WDW resort buses.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #4
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So, Robo, I've seen the warnings, but (luckily) it didn't happen to us when we had pre-RD Tusker ressies, but I was worried all the way there. Are there any tips on what to do if it happens, I.e. is there a number you could call or something? Are you just SOL until someone arrives? Would security come flying out of the woodwork if you were to move the cones and proceed inside?? Thoughts?? Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:56 PM   #5
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Yikes, I'm glad I read this, I was considering driving to three straight days of EMH openings on our next trip. We got burned waiting on the buses to take us from CBR to MK for an early opening last time and fell behind. I don't know what happened that day but everyone at the stop grew frustrated as we watched buses headed for every destination on site (that wouldn't open for another hour) except MK stop and pick up no one.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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Just to be clear, this is only a problem at AK.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgattis View Post
So, Robo, I've seen the warnings, but (luckily) it didn't happen to us when we had pre-RD Tusker ressies, but I was worried all the way there. Are there any tips on what to do if it happens, I.e. is there a number you could call or something? Are you just SOL until someone arrives? Would security come flying out of the woodwork if you were to move the cones and proceed inside?? Thoughts?? Thanks!
I'm pretty sure security would have a problem with someone moving the cones!
I've also done 8 am tusker bkfst several times without a problem at the parking lot - just lucky I guess...
But I imagine that if you have a pre-open ADR and miss it because Disney didn't let you park, they'd make good on that somehow. I bet that even when the lot opens later than the other parks, it's still in time to get people to their ADR...
The earliest ADR is 8 am I think, so as long as the lot is open by 7:40 or so.... You should be ok (though I agree that I would not be pleased calling it that close)
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:46 AM   #8
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We have an 8:45 Wild Africa Trek on an EMH day. Do you think we'd be okay driving, or should we take the bus?
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #9
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I am curious about this as well. I can't believe this is still going on! I might do an AM EMH at AK on our January trip, and I'm hesitant to try driving there. It's so strange that it only happens at AK, and that TPTB haven't figured this out and fixed.

I drove to Epcot for an 8am EMH in October, arrived in the parking lot at around 7:20, and had no trouble getting it. I was the second car in the parking lot!
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #10
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We have an 8:45 Wild Africa Trek on an EMH day. Do you think we'd be okay driving, or should we take the bus?
Considering the park will open at 8am on an EMH day for Animal Kingdom then you should be 100% ok to drive that day. It sounds like the latest the parking will open is about 7:30 and even then that late opening doesn't happen every time.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:07 PM   #11
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Not much you can do about driving and finding the Animal Kingdom toll booths closed and unable to make rope drop but ...

The policy is that the AK restaurants will seat you (if you have an ADR) as if you arrived on time if the late opening of the parking lot made you late. Final enforcement if needed handled by Guest Relations.

Yet better, take the bus. If you were staying off site, park yourself at All Star Music and take the bus from there. You'll ahve to get there really early (like 70 minutes in advance) to allow enough time to park the car and get to the bus platform and allow for possibly not getting on the first bus due to fullness.

I kinda doubt that Security would come flying out (on Segways) after you since otherwise they would have flown out long ago to man the booths.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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Not quite the same as EMH but I'm doing the early am race on the 9th of Nov at the AK. In hoping the car park will be open?!?!?
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
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I kinda doubt that Security would come flying out (on Segways) after you since otherwise they would have flown out long ago to man the booths.
Heh heh I will now giggle every time I think about a need for extra CMs somewhere...that someone would dispatch an emergency squad via Segway! Very nice.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:51 PM   #14
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Question Nov 9 Run ?

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Originally Posted by Ciorsdah View Post
Not quite the same as EMH but I'm doing the early am race on the 9th of Nov at the AK. In hoping the car park will be open?!?!?

I don't think you have to worry about this now, you'll be getting an info packet a month or 2 before the race and it will have parking info If I had to GUESS since I never ran that race there will probably be parking for participants and booth will just check your paperwork
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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How were buses getting in? The lane on the far right has a sign for buses to use that lane but if I recall correctly, it does not say "buses only". We used the far right hand lane when we drove to AK for our early breakfast. We had a resort parking pass.

The gates were not open when we first arrived but opened shortly afterwards and we arrived at the parking area with plenty of time. We arrived at the entry gates before CM's were letting breafast guests in so we still had to wait a few minutes there as well.

We have risked this several times and have always lucked out okay.
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