Thank you to this board, but our upcoming group trip will be one and done!

scard192

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
It’s been 180 days as long as I can remember at least since 2013, probably before that
went in September 2009. There was a short time when ADR's migrated from telephone only to on line that you could make them at 90 days. We only booked about 100 days before our trip so that "window" of time for 90 days was quite nice. We had FD (DDP) and this enabled us to get a lot of character meal ADRs for my then 3 year old DGD.
 

maxiesmom

The Mean Squinty Eye Works
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
went in September 2009. There was a short time when ADR's migrated from telephone only to on line that you could make them at 90 days. We only booked about 100 days before our trip so that "window" of time for 90 days was quite nice. We had FD (DDP) and this enabled us to get a lot of character meal ADRs for my then 3 year old DGD.
Disney did a 90 day test for a while. Apparently they didn't like the results, as they haven't gone back to the 90 day booking window.
 

CoffeeKitten

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 17, 2019
It's 180 days to my understanding because it used to be less time but guests wanted more lead time. I believe from what other posters have said it was 90 days before and less (I don't remember how many days it's been at other times) in the past. Even with DLR they had 14 days for Oga's but people still complained on the Boards asking when reservations would open up...now Oga's is 60 days and so is Savi's at least (60 days is DLR norm). 60 days wouldn't have worked for me personally because I planned our September DLR trip weeks in advanced because I wasn't positive if we could go or not. But it is what it is and there are def. people who are so happy to have the ability to plan more in advance. It was causing people stress over on the DLR side to not be able to plan more than 14 days out for Oga's AND that's with having no pre-planning FP.
I'm not sure when it changed, but Oga's, Savi's and Droid Depot can now be reserved at 180 days. I about had a heart attack when I realized I had to schedule my SWGE things. I figured "stores" would be a walk-in type thing. I can totally understand the frustration of having to plan out everything so far in advance.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I'm not sure when it changed, but Oga's, Savi's and Droid Depot can now be reserved at 180 days. I about had a heart attack when I realized I had to schedule my SWGE things. I figured "stores" would be a walk-in type thing. I can totally understand the frustration of having to plan out everything so far in advance.
At WDW it's 180 days but DLR was 14 days and then they announced they would move to 60 days for those experiences. It's 60 days for DLR which is how far out their normal dining reservation process is while WDW is 180 days.

But I agree with your other comment about planning far out.
 

sharona

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
I just wanted to thank everyone on this board! I am in charge of a 6 day, 12 person trip in April 2020 (the week before Easter...) and these boards have been immensely helpful.

I haven't been in almost 10 years, so I have put in the time, I have learned what to do and more importantly, what not to do.

I woke up a 3am PST last week to secure all of our dining reservations. I will wake up early in February to secure what I can for our fastpasses.

However, after this trip, I CANNOT see us doing this again. Disneyworld's system of "our way or the highway" sucks! It's not just the money. It's the time. The time to plan. Then the time to make sure we follow the plan. It's ridiculous.

Please understand these are MY opinions. Those of you that go multiple times per year (where you can afford to miss a ride or two) or during the off-season most likely feel differently.

Here's why I won't be doing this again.

1. Dining reservations 180 days out (before park hours are finalized. You don't know which parks will be opening early / staying late longer. You have an idea, but Disney can change however they want).

2. Having to choose FPs 60 days out. I've been following the dibb and I've basically come to terms that during our week, we won't be able to get any of the headliners for the first 3/4 days. No SDMT, no FOP, no SDD.
a. I moved our HS / AK days to the end of our trip to help account for this.

3. Not being able to book multiple parks for the first 3 in advance, if you have park hoppers. Why is this even a thing?! I paid more to be able to "hop". I should be able to schedule FP at whatever park I want, as long as my ticket will get me in. I do understand tiers would still apply. But tiers are also another reason the system isn't friendly.

4. If all you can get are later in the day FPs, you'll spend the first part of the day in standby lines.

5. We have 2 kids, one of which won't be able to ride anything over 42 inches. No problem, we'll just use rider swap. But now I'm seeing everyone has to have a FP, even group 2. What's the point of this? If me, my wife and taller kid have to have a FP for FOP, what do we get my smaller son during that time? A FP he can't use?

6. We looked into VIP, but we have 12, so we'd need two guides. Our week will be approx. $600 plus per hour x 2. $1200 per hour and you still have to use the FP line! So a 30 minute wait in a FP line will cost $600...

7. We looked into getting club level rooms. We are staying at CTR for the location (My family rented DVC points for BLT 1 BR based on advice from here). But the club rooms were almost DOUBLE the price for that week. So, for a 6 day stay, it would have been an extra $3600 for each family PLUS the $50 per person, per day for 3 extra FP. Club rooms are a waste if you are trying to maximize park time, so our extra 3 FPs (plus 90 day window) for a family of 4 over 6 days would have been an extra $4800. If you are keeping score at home, that's $67 per FP!

8. All of this leads to an incredibly rigid "vacation" schedule. What if your kids want to go back to a certain park? Too bad, unless you want to abandon all the pre-scheduled FPs and wait in line all day. What if you don't feel like a certain meal that day? Too bad, unless you want to roll the dice on what is left.

I know the rebuttals, but I'm not looking for an argument. To each their own.

1. "You should go at a different, less busy time." I could, but coordinating 3 families with kid's school schedules doesn't allow for that.
2. "You could use "refresh" to help with FP." I will do that, but staring at my phone all day is not my idea of a good time. I want to spend time with my family.

I will play by the rules, because I know if we don't, it will be a nightmare. I have spent the first part of planning trying to convince the other people in my group that "yes, all this planning is necessary". I believe they are on board, but I have a feeling if they knew all of this before plans were made, Disneyworld would have lost the vote.

We also scheduled one day over at Universal Florida. I used advice here to book a "throwaway room" (was able to use Chase UR points at 1.5 cent value) at one of the properties that includes Express Pass. And that's it, planning done! We'll be able to hit both parks and do pretty much all the rides we want in that one day (and in any order we want!). I am so looking forward to that day!

This is not the typical rant that is after the fact, where the person didn't plan and is mad at all the people who did. I WILL plan. I'm just saying the planning is the reason we will vacation elsewhere next time.

Thanks for letting me vent and again thank you to everyone who posts here.
This is all very on point OP - I’ve been in your shoes planning for a group and it’s overwhelmingly complicated and stressful. We defected to Universal for quite a few trips the last few years because of how easy and stress free it is. We’re heading back to WDW in December and our one day at Universal with express pass was the least stressful thing to plan.

I didn’t read the whole thread but I don’t have to because I’m sure the Disney apologists were in fine form. I hope your planning pays off and your group enjoys their trip.
 

JakeAZ

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
We’re heading back to WDW in December and our one day at Universal with express pass was the least stressful thing to plan
I couldn't agree with this more. Our one day over there, with express passes, sounds like a dream.
 



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