Use Fort Wilderness for cheap Extra Magic Hours

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by jasontovey, Sep 25, 2012.

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  1. jasontovey

    jasontovey Earned My Ears @ Traditions :D

    Jul 25, 2012
    Please tell me whether there is a critical flaw in this plan.

    Some friends we're traveling with -- I don't want to say whether we're related -- plan to use Hilton points to book a hotel near WDW. This of course would exclude them from EMH and they would be at the mercy of their lousy hotel shuttle and/or pay for parking.

    Say they'll be there on a Friday with evening EMH at Epcot and a Saturday with morning EMH at DHS. Could they book a single night (Friday) at FW to get access to EMH both days? Just check in early on Friday at 8am and never pitch a tent. Stay for Epcot EMH, go back to the hotel, get up and go to morning EMH at DHS the next day.

    Sounds to me like you'd get 4 extra hours at Disney and free parking for 2 days for $60.75.

    Am I missing something? Would they have to return to FW on Saturday to check out?

    Thanks in advance!

    (Personally I'll be staying at All-Star Music for the free dining plan.)

  2. huntforjulia

    huntforjulia Earning My Ears

    Apr 22, 2010
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  4. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure! Moderator

    Feb 10, 2008
    Could they? Yes, and they would need to check out.

    Should they??? They might be knocking some family out of a site that wanted to camp there that weekend. Sites are much harder to come by than rooms at WDW.
  5. angelmom27

    angelmom27 DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2011
    I agree its wrong to take up space that someone else could be looking for.

    I don't see that all of that would be worth an $60 in my opinion. Parking a lone would be half that. And the fact that they would physically have to spend time checking in and out would cut into precious time they could be spending at the parks.
  6. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    What's legal is not always what's *right*! They would not be the first to do it, and am sure not the last - but as been pointed out someone else may *really need* that site to actually stay in ::yes::

    Also, what's the point in gaining a few extra hours, to only lose them checking in and out? :confused3

    Just my two cents!
  7. luckycharm19335

    luckycharm19335 DIS Veteran

    Sep 17, 2010
    Seems like alot of work, with little benefit.
    And, as a person that always stays at Fort Wilderness, and always invests a lot of time to get my reservations, I don't like that it can be done.
  8. skyp4WDW

    skyp4WDW Mouseketeer

    Feb 25, 2008
    We've booked a site at the fort just for the M.E. (when we were coming into town at all different times from different places) and we were staying at a non-disney hotel.
    I told reservations WHY I booked it, when I made the reservation and paid. Additionally, I called the Outpost to let Ft W Managers know as well. So, they didn't hold our site for us and no one was turned away based on our reservation.
  9. wdwrroad

    wdwrroad Earning My Ears

    Jan 11, 2012
    For a few $$ more why not book a room at a value if you really think its a good idea. There are more rooms than sites. I'd be mad if I needed the site and found out someone had one to get perks while staying off site. But that could be said about the value room also. I don't think it's a very nice think to do even if it can technically be done.
  10. jasontovey

    jasontovey Earned My Ears @ Traditions :D

    Jul 25, 2012
    I neglected to mention that there are four people in the party. As you say, parking at the parks for two days would cost $28. $60.75-28.00=$32.75 Split four ways, you're paying about $8 per person to have three extra hours at Epcot when the lines are shorter, and one hour at DHS when lines are probably the shortest. That sounds like it's worth it to me!

    Plus I'm not sure how much time this would actually take. If you show up to early check-in at 8am, you can still be at your park by 9am when it opens.

    Anyway, in an attempt to settle this in my mind I just called 407-WDW-MAGI to see whether what I was thinking would work -- and like skyp4WDW I mentioned we would just be using it for EMH and free parking. The CM confirmed that with a one-night reservation they would get free parking and EMH for both check-in and check-out dates, and with a credit card for express checkout one would never have to go back after the 8am early "check-in".

    The cheapest Value Resort room that night would cost $146.90 -- a difference of $86.15 is not "a few dollars more".
  11. Disneefun

    Disneefun DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2003
    Ethics aside (I have my opinion, but it's already been stated), you don't say when you're going. If you're going at a slower time of year, "paying" to get EMH isn't worth it, IMO. The lines are short anyway and if you just get to the park at opening, you'll have no trouble. In that case, your friends would be better off to just pay for the parking and not waste the money or the time (checking in, etc.) on FW. Save the extra $30/$35 for something else.
  12. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

    Jan 4, 2009
    Yes, as the others said, it would work.

    As a tent camper who has been told the campground is full at times when there are empty sites open all around me b/c of people who book "throw away" sites, I would like to discourage it. While Disney is getting their money, and your family is getting the service they are paying for, it is rude to deny access to families who genuinely want to enjoy the campground. Those sites fill up quickly, especially weekends. Something to consider . . .
  13. d1gitman

    d1gitman Mad About The Mouse!

    Jan 20, 2008
    if it's technically possible and not breaking any disney rules, i don't see why not. i really don't buy into the argument that renting the campsite and not necessarily using it is not proper. If you rent the site, you are allowed to use it or not use it as you see fit as long as you are within Disney's rules.

    in the past we did a long trip where we decided mid trip to stay at a friends house in the Orlando area. for convenience we did not check out and then check back in to Disney the next day. we opted to pay for the night at Disney even though we visited friends offsite and stayed at their house overnight.

    to me, saying you shouldn't rent a campsite and not stay at it is like saying if you are staying at Disney you must be doing Disney stuff during hte day. it just doesn't make sense.
  14. Butterbunkins

    Butterbunkins Mouseketeer

    Nov 11, 2011
    Could they find someone who wants to use it? I don't how hard it would be, but I bet there is a family out there who could really benefit from not having to spend that money. Then the site wouldn't be "wasted". I'm sure someone could be found either by posting somewhere on the internet or even with the help of a travel agent. Just a thought....
  15. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

    Sep 23, 2004
    Um, yes you are. Disneefun hit the nail on the head. :worship:

    Since you plan to be there Nov 11-17, it helps to know what that time of year is like.

    First, since it sounds as if your plan is to be at EPCOT on Friday Nov 16 and that is the day/park with the 3 extra evening hours, be forewarned that EVERYONE on property with a park hopper ticket will "hop" on over to EPCOT that evening which sort of negates the purpose of being there in the first place. True you do get three extra hours in the park but do you really want to spend it all in line?

    Second, you should check out the expected crowds for that time of year. That's the home run Disneefun hit. I always defer to my friends at (the web site related to the folks who write the Unofficial Guide to WDW). Crowds are extremely EXTREMELY low during the weekdays of your visit generally.

    So the hoppers kill the Friday plan, is it really worth the cost and trouble for one hour on Saturday? Although DHS is not listed as a "Best Park" during the weekdays, it is listed as a "Park to Avoid" during that time but not listed in either place on most. Why not go to DHS on a day it's not listed on either and the best park is a "2" or "1"? The Saturday you plan to be there is a "6". Putting off DHS till Saturday means you are paying extra for bigger crowds instead of going mid-week. That sounds somewhat counterintuitive to me.

    Also the TP crowd calendar calls EPCOT on Friday the "Park to Avoid".

    So it's up to you but it sounds like an unnecessary expense with little payoff. :groom:

    Bama ED
  16. jasontovey

    jasontovey Earned My Ears @ Traditions :D

    Jul 25, 2012
    I actually planned the trip for November 11-17 because of the Crowd Calendar at TouringPlans. Compare it to any week after September and it's just about the least crowded week.

    I plan to be in the Magic Kingdom on Friday and be one of the horde that park hops over to Epcot for dinner and EMH. The others we're traveling with plan to be in DHS that day, then hop over for dinner and EMH. With DHS' crowd level at 4.2 that day, they should be able to get it all in in plenty of time for dinner at Epcot.

    Even if you we end up standing in line after dinner, I'd rather be there than in bed knowing that Epcot is still open. It does boil down to whether the others think it's worth it for them. At any rate, if we're standing in line we have time to talk.

    Plus they're only going to be at WDW for three days, so the extra three hours at Epcot will make a difference.

    I know Epcot is supposed to be busy that day, but better to be in a crowded Disney park than sleeping back at the hotel. I'm also hoping MVMCP mitigates the EMH crowd a little bit.

    Again, the question wasn't about whether it's worth it to you, or whether you think Tiny Tim is going to go without dinner because we booked a campsite -- just whether the plan is feasible.

    Thanks for the input!
  17. jasontovey

    jasontovey Earned My Ears @ Traditions :D

    Jul 25, 2012
    It sounds like it's a feasible plan, then, if people do it that frequently.
  18. AuntBJ

    AuntBJ DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2002
    I believe many on the camping board frown on this practice, so I would suggest we just let this thread die away.

    I know I see some posts occasionally on the disabilities board that suggest work-arounds to the system and those threads are quickly ignored and then locked.

    Above all, let's not start a debate that could get heated.
  19. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2010

    Seems you know its not *right*.......but you want to do it if you pose a snarky issue,you have to expect people to call you on it!

  20. mouseketeer_mom

    mouseketeer_mom DIS Veteran

    Sep 20, 2006
    To the OP,

    I can completely understand the desire to get the most Disney experience for as few dollars as you possibly can. I also understand that you aren't breaking any Disney rules in doing what you are suggesting. For most of us, a trip to Disney is not an average vacation but a special and unique time with our families. If you are not a camper, I would imagine it would be hard to understand why those of us on this board seem to be offended by what you are doing. I can only try to explain that for most of us, camping IS what makes our Disney experience special.

    So, let me change the perspective just a bit. Imagine a dear family member is getting married at a remote hotel. You and your extended family look forward to spending time together. The wedding is being held in the hotel. The next closest hotel is about ten miles away. Sure, you could stay there and still see the actual ceremony but it wouldn't be the experience with your family that you were hoping to have.

    But, the hotel you want is booked. You couldn't get a room. No family wedding experience for you. But when your family calls, they are baffled... you can't be there but there are numerous empty rooms. You find out that people have booked a hotel room because they really wanted the free continentel breakfast. You couldn't care less about the breakfast. Heck, you would have bought the guy breakfast just to have been able to share the weekend with your family. As far as you are concerned, the perks of a free breakfast are of no consequence. It was the experience you'll miss.

    So, some us on this board may have understood your initial post as, "Hey, I know everyone on this board is going to a family wedding at this hotel and I'm not entirely sure when you are planning to go but, I just wanted to make sure I can book a room just for the free breakfast. I'm not actually going to stay there. And, if you can't make it to the family wedding because I wanted the free breakfast, just remember, I'm not breaking any rules!"

    I didn't write this to be offensive in any way and it's tough to inflect tone into the written word. Please understand, I'm just trying to offer perspective as to why the responses you gotten may not be of the "absolutely, enjoy your breakfast!" variety.

    Have a wonderful vacation!!!
  21. articfox676

    articfox676 Mouseketeer

    Jul 12, 2011
    Not sure how often this booking situation happens? Perhaps Disney should consider selling the EMH and parking pass package for say the $60 price or so and everyone gets what they want. Just a thought.

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