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Old 12-11-2013, 08:58 PM   #1
princesslover
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Just back today: my experience

We were there December 4-11.

Please don't slam me for commenting that the crowds were high. I realize that Disney is always busy. However, while we have only been one other time during this time period, I thought the crowds were heavier. I have heard others say it may be due to Thanksgiving being later. But I was surprised at how hard it was to move around.

We went to MVMCP Sunday night. It was so crowded, I felt like we couldn't move around. I don't think I'll do the party again.

The magic bands worked fine, but only one of ours opened the resort door (my daughter's).

Epcot was the recommended park for Saturday (December 7), but it was MOBBED. Soarin and test track were both 90 minute waits by noon. It was also parade taping day, I realize, but I didn't think Epcot would be affected. It was crazy. However, it was interesting to me that outside of the long waits for Soarin and TT, everything else was still 10-15 minute waits. I had a FP for Mission space, but it was such a waste. We didn't need it at all.

They are really strict on FP return times. Unfortunately, due to a stupid mistake on my part, along with slow busses, etc., we arrived 30 minutes late for Soarin and they would not let us on for our FP+. We ended up waiting in a 50 minute stand-by line. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but just a warning to others. I was pretty bummed out (but I was aware they probably would not let us on.)

We went to the Candlelight Processional with the dining package, and while I am so happy we got to experience it, I wouldn't do it again. Between the table service dinner, and then the waiting in that huge line, it ate up roughly four hours of our time. I hadn't anticpated how much time is taken up with that event. Again, glad we did it once though.

The WiFi in the parks was slow for me. It took forever to get updates on wait times or check MDE. But I don't know if that is just me or not.

Anyway, we had a magical, wonderful time. However, I don't think I would go this time of year again. It was a lot of effort to pull my kids out of school for "low crowds" when there weren't really low crowds at all. I think I may take my chances with Christmas vacation next time. At least then, I will go prepared knowing that the crowd levels will be high.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:41 AM   #2
vdoucet78
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I just got back as well, and pretty much agree. We did the Candlelight Processional dining package and were seated on time for our 3:40 "dinner." As soon as we finished, we stood in line to get into the theater to get decent seats for the 6:45 show, about 2 hrs in line or a little more. Granted, we didn't have to since we were guaranteed a seat, but I wanted to be close. It was Neil Patrick Harris though, and I know he draws big crowds. I was surprised though at how busy all the CPs were when we were there later in the week. We walked in at the start of showtime twice last year, not an option this year! MK was packed everyday we were there, as much so as when we went the week before July 4th a few years ago.

Magic bands worked fine except 2 days when it wasn't showing our FP+, but it was easy to resolve.

Wi-Fi in the parks was hit or miss for us. We used LTE for the most part since we have unlimited data.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesslover View Post
They are really strict on FP return times. Unfortunately, due to a stupid mistake on my part, along with slow busses, etc., we arrived 30 minutes late for Soarin and they would not let us on for our FP+. We ended up waiting in a 50 minute stand-by line. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but just a warning to others.
Why didn't you move your FP+ time?
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:48 AM   #4
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Why didn't you move your FP+ time?
I considered that on the bus ride there, because I knew we were probably going to be late, but when I *finally* got into MDE, the only options conflicted with our dining package and/or candlelight processional. For example, I think the options all started after 6:00 or 7:00. That is the problem with having an evening show. If you have to move something that day, you have almost no flexibility. We thought of pulling a regular FP too, but same problem. The return times were all conflicting with either our meal, or the time we needed to be standing in line for CP.

I was just so mad at myself for messing that up. We hadn't been to Disney since 2009, and underestimated the bus ride there (with the stops) and then got turned around once we entered the park and it took us longer to get there. Also, I had thought that our window opened at 11:10, and it actually closed at 11:10. I realized my error too late. Still, even with all that, we were only 30-35 minutes late.

They have no empathy though..if you're late, too bad. Stand by for you! (said like the soup Nazi: no FP for you!!)
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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I'm sorry you had to deal with those crowds!
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesslover View Post
I considered that on the bus ride there, because I knew we were probably going to be late, but when I *finally* got into MDE, the only options conflicted with our dining package and/or candlelight processional. For example, I think the options all started after 6:00 or 7:00. That is the problem with having an evening show. If you have to move something that day, you have almost no flexibility. We thought of pulling a regular FP too, but same problem. The return times were all conflicting with either our meal, or the time we needed to be standing in line for CP.

I was just so mad at myself for messing that up. We hadn't been to Disney since 2009, and underestimated the bus ride there (with the stops) and then got turned around once we entered the park and it took us longer to get there. Also, I had thought that our window opened at 11:10, and it actually closed at 11:10. I realized my error too late. Still, even with all that, we were only 30-35 minutes late.

They have no empathy though..if you're late, too bad. Stand by for you! (said like the soup Nazi: no FP for you!!)
That has always been my worry with the move to FP enforcement. There are so many ways to miss your window, stuck on a ride, miss a bus, meal takes forever because service is slow, just makes for an unmagical/stressful event when it happens.

I have always wanted to do the CP, but given your experience, think I will have to forget about it as the crowds = Misery for us.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #7
princesslover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelmav View Post
That has always been my worry with the move to FP enforcement. There are so many ways to miss your window, stuck on a ride, miss a bus, meal takes forever because service is slow, just makes for an unmagical/stressful event when it happens.

I have always wanted to do the CP, but given your experience, think I will have to forget about it as the crowds = Misery for us.
The more I think about it, the more I wish I would have stayed to argue my point, but I think it would have been a lost cause.

I didn't even realize my error until we were on the bus. At that point it was 10:35-10:40, and I realized out window ended at 11:10. I knew we were not going to make it, but we figured we'd give it a try but he CM would not budge. It took us nearly a full hour to arrive at Soarin from the moment we got on the bus and I realized my error. If I could give one piece of advice it would be to write down all of your FP times on a piece of paper. After that, we went in and wrote everything down so we had it handy.

Luckily, while we were eating at Sunshine Seasons, I noticed the wait went down from 90 minutes to 50 minutes so I finished eating quickly and went in stand-by line while my family finished eating. I'm sure that is not an acceptable practice, but given our circumstances, I didn't care at that point.

We enjoyed the CP, but it was not worth giving up four hours of park time. I'd rather take advantage of lower stand-by lines and go on TT or Soarin again. That's just me though. Again, glad we did it once.
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