Upcoming trip: feeling so discouraged

Stacymarie1216

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
We are headed to Disney at the end of the month - Sept 29 - Oct 5. This will be our 4th trip in the last 7 years and I have historically prided myself on my in-depth level of planning and preparing for our trips. I would stalk the app in advance until I got the perfect fast passes and dining reservations. And I always got exactly what we wanted. I may have had to refresh the app a million times and change reservations at 2 in the morning because I got up to pee and checked the app and happened to find the right reservation at the right time. But I always got there.

Planning for this trip though has just been depressing. We specifically chose this time back when we booked so we could hopefully take advantage of lower crowds. They announced the opening of the Star Wars crazyness right after we booked, but we just didn't want to post pone because I feel like it will be crazy for quite a while, so what's the point. I hopped on for fast passes and dining reservations the second I could - I was literally not a second late - and nothing. Late night fast passes for the big rides were all that was available if they were available at all. And dining reservations are non existent. I don't even bother looking for them anymore because all my refreshing over and over again has been met with the same "nothing is available" message.

So we are looking at our trip in 3 weeks and haven't been able to get dining reservations or any decent fast passes. By decent I mean we have fast passes for things like the Frozen Sing Along and meeting Mickey and Minnie at MK :/.

I guess I just wanted to vent. I know it's Disney World - and even without reservations we'll still have a blast...but the determined, type A planner in me who is used to getting what I want (with a lot of hard work, mind you) is just so bummed. I can't even get excited about packing or planning it all out because it's so frustrating.
 

WIll C

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 19, 2018
Have you used one of the dining reservation finders (like Touring plans?) I've been able to get the spot I've need for just about any place, even within weeks of our trip. I just used it to get our BoG reservation for Christmas time as well as a few other minor ones for that trip and my trip this week. People change plans a lot and you just have to keep trying. Those tools do the work for you.

For FPs, well that's probably harder but you can keep looking every day and see what comes up. I've had a lot of problems with those as well, even at the 60+ days.
 

MilitaryMouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
I second using TP Reservations Finder! I used it for our Oct/Nov trip and was able to get every ADR I wanted, including Oga's.

Keep checking fastpasses as you get closer to your reservation. I've had better luck the few days or a week before our park days, or even the day of.
 
  • Stacymarie1216

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2015
    I actually didn't know about the dining reservation finders! I just literally refresh the app any time I have a second! Just signed up for them - thank you for that!!
     

    sharona

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    We are headed to Disney at the end of the month - Sept 29 - Oct 5. This will be our 4th trip in the last 7 years and I have historically prided myself on my in-depth level of planning and preparing for our trips. I would stalk the app in advance until I got the perfect fast passes and dining reservations. And I always got exactly what we wanted. I may have had to refresh the app a million times and change reservations at 2 in the morning because I got up to pee and checked the app and happened to find the right reservation at the right time. But I always got there.

    Planning for this trip though has just been depressing. We specifically chose this time back when we booked so we could hopefully take advantage of lower crowds. They announced the opening of the Star Wars crazyness right after we booked, but we just didn't want to post pone because I feel like it will be crazy for quite a while, so what's the point. I hopped on for fast passes and dining reservations the second I could - I was literally not a second late - and nothing. Late night fast passes for the big rides were all that was available if they were available at all. And dining reservations are non existent. I don't even bother looking for them anymore because all my refreshing over and over again has been met with the same "nothing is available" message.

    So we are looking at our trip in 3 weeks and haven't been able to get dining reservations or any decent fast passes. By decent I mean we have fast passes for things like the Frozen Sing Along and meeting Mickey and Minnie at MK :/.

    I guess I just wanted to vent. I know it's Disney World - and even without reservations we'll still have a blast...but the determined, type A planner in me who is used to getting what I want (with a lot of hard work, mind you) is just so bummed. I can't even get excited about packing or planning it all out because it's so frustrating.
    That really stinks about the FP's. If you can rope drop and take advantage of the first couple of hours at each park, you can probably manage most of the big ticket attractions in the am and use FP for the other stuff after that. As to the ADR's, I understand the convenience of dining in the parks but I find the food to be less than or on par with the most mediocre chain restaurants for twice the price. There are so many really good and affordable places to eat outside the parks! Why not take this opportunity totake advantage of the savings and better food quality outside of "the bubble".
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    Unfortunately October is a very busy time. That coupled with illuminations ending on the 30th would be a problem. You are also going on a Sunday so everyone with a week long trip starting Saturday got to make reservations before you. I would steer clear of Epcot the 30th and the 1st. I’m sure dining reservations those days at Epcot are tough. But I’ve found touring plans reservation finder to be a huge help. Also, each evening during your stay take a quick look for reservations or better FP. People will change their plans the night before and there are openings. Or since you’ve been there 4 times in 7 years maybe try to find some new things you’ve never done and focus on those. Maybe miniature golf or something.
     

    Stacymarie1216

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2015
    That really stinks about the FP's. If you can rope drop and take advantage of the first couple of hours at each park, you can probably manage most of the big ticket attractions in the am and use FP for the other stuff after that. As to the ADR's, I understand the convenience of dining in the parks but I find the food to be less than or on par with the most mediocre chain restaurants for twice the price. There are so many really good and affordable places to eat outside the parks! Why not take this opportunity totake advantage of the savings and better food quality outside of "the bubble".
    We will definitely rope drop and be there crazy early with the extra EMH - I've just been so spoiled not waiting in lines in the past :). We will be driving so that is a great idea and a good way to try to get a better attitude about this whole thing :). Have any favorites to recommend?
     
  • magsnwonderland

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    Are you staying onsite? We're going the 30th-4th and were able to get basically everything with only a little refreshing/modifying. Plus the EEMH have been pretty slow so if you can get up early, you can get a whole lot of things done.
     

    Monykalyn

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2014
    How many people are you planning for? For one or two of us I have found FP for just about anything night bfore or day of. For Dinign reservations check 1-4 days ahead if you want a particular one. I've found last minute CRT (didnt take it) and CG (did keep this one-and at fireworks time!) during holiday season for 3 of us literally day of or day before. The CRT was a day or 2 after New years. It does get trickier trying to get for 4 or more people but not impossible.

    Since you've been quite a bit, relax, go with the flow and enjoy vs stressing about the "perfect" itinerary. My last trip in August we planned <2 weeks before we went (my DD and I) and we had a ball! Even waiting 110 minutes in line for FoP with one of DD's friends was fun and time seemed to go fast anyway!
    If you are staying on property I'd take advantage of the EMH anyway, and keep the FP for later anyway.
     

    Stacymarie1216

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2015
    Unfortunately October is a very busy time. That coupled with illuminations ending on the 30th would be a problem. You are also going on a Sunday so everyone with a week long trip starting Saturday got to make reservations before you. I would steer clear of Epcot the 30th and the 1st. I’m sure dining reservations those days at Epcot are tough. But I’ve found touring plans reservation finder to be a huge help. Also, each evening during your stay take a quick look for reservations or better FP. People will change their plans the night before and there are openings. Or since you’ve been there 4 times in 7 years maybe try to find some new things you’ve never done and focus on those. Maybe miniature golf or something.

    I just signed up for the touring plans reservation finder so fingers crossed we get something! Thats a great perspective - to focus on trying new things :). We are bringing our 2 older kiddos who have been 3 times and our 3 year old who has never been - so I am caught up in trying to re-create experiences for her and I realize that I'm just setting myself up for failure :).
     

    mamamelody2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2016
    Are you onsite? It seems like probably not because FPs shouldn't be that difficult at 60 days. If you are onsite, the EEMH will allow you to get tons done in the early morning.
    As to ADRs, there's always lots of cancelling/moving around closer to your dates. Check the day before especially. I decided to try for a 2nd BoG lunch while there last week. Checked the app the night before and there were several times to choose from, when months ago there was nothing.
     
  • Stacymarie1216

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2015
    Are you staying onsite? We're going the 30th-4th and were able to get basically everything with only a little refreshing/modifying. Plus the EEMH have been pretty slow so if you can get up early, you can get a whole lot of things done.
    We are staying onsite - that's awesome you were able to get everything! I'm not sure why we couldn't get much. We are definitely ok with getting up crazy early so that might have to be our plan!
     

    Stacymarie1216

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2015
    Since you've been quite a bit, relax, go with the flow and enjoy vs stressing about the "perfect" itinerary. My last trip in August we planned <2 weeks before we went (my DD and I) and we had a ball! Even waiting 110 minutes in line for FoP with one of DD's friends was fun and time seemed to go fast anyway!
    If you are staying on property I'd take advantage of the EMH anyway, and keep the FP for later anyway.
    Unfortunately there are 5 of us - that might be why I'm struggling.

    Love that perspective - to go with the flow and not stress about the perfect itinerary - that is absolutely what I"m doing right now :).
     

    Stacymarie1216

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2015
    Are you onsite? It seems like probably not because FPs shouldn't be that difficult at 60 days. If you are onsite, the EEMH will allow you to get tons done in the early morning.
    As to ADRs, there's always lots of cancelling/moving around closer to your dates. Check the day before especially. I decided to try for a 2nd BoG lunch while there last week. Checked the app the night before and there were several times to choose from, when months ago there was nothing.
    We actually are onsite. I was up at 5 in the morning ready to go on our fast pass date. I guess the EEMH will have to be our strategy - we've done that before and actually hit all our must-dos before probably 11am - so its not the end of the world.

    I really appreciate all of your responses and talking me down of the ledge! lol.
     

    Kickstart

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2017
    Interesting you weren't really able to get anything FP wise. We're going 9/26 - 10/1 (on-site), and I didn't make out too badly. FOP fp is @ 2:45pm, and I couldn't get 7DMT, but otherwise made out OK.

    For dining, I've been using the "other" reservation finder (I don't believe I'm allowed to post a link for it - you'll just have to google for it). the TP only allows you to have two open reservations finders active (I believe) - the "other" one allows you to have more (fees may apply though). I've managed to find two good times for Sci-Fi Dine-inn with it, and a BOG lunch.

    No guarantees on those reservation finders, but I've had a little bit of luck with them. One thing to note, you must act on the notification immediately. click on the link as soon as you get the text.

    Good luck
     
    Last edited:

    sommergirl25

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2012
    Unfortunately there are 5 of us - that might be why I'm struggling.

    Love that perspective - to go with the flow and not stress about the perfect itinerary - that is absolutely what I"m doing right now :).
    I’m sorry you have had such difficulty. One thing I notice many people have issues with on ADR’s is the odd numbers. Try looking for reservations for 6 instead of 5.
     

    gwynne

    Happily planning our next adventure
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2012
    I actually didn't know about the dining reservation finders! I just literally refresh the app any time I have a second! Just signed up for them - thank you for that!!
    I've had good luck with touring plans, but sometimes I don't catch the alert fast enough. So, I set up a new alert for the same restaurant and time. They don't reset automatically, you have to do it.
    That tip mentioned above of searching for 6 instead of 5 is a good one. It often opens up more reservation options.
    In the meantime, here's a little pixie dust! pixiedust:
     

    sharona

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    We will definitely rope drop and be there crazy early with the extra EMH - I've just been so spoiled not waiting in lines in the past :). We will be driving so that is a great idea and a good way to try to get a better attitude about this whole thing :). Have any favorites to recommend?
    For Italian food (my favorite) we like VIVO at City Walk or Maggianos (a family style chain), my DD likes steak but nothing fancy so we usually go to Longhorn (NY strip $20 vs $35-$50 at WDW). Also NYPD Pizza, Yard House... If everyone wants something different there is always Cheesecake Factory with their 40 page menu.
     

    KJTex

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2014
    There is an Olive Garden near Disney that we went to one night because my family was craving Dr Pepper. My kids talked about it for months afterward. They had never been to An Olive Garden before and loved the salad and breadsticks and stuff. I was initially irritated that we left the Disney bubble, but they loved it so much that I got over it.
     


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