Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30

Thread: Experience with club level 3 extra FP

  1. #1
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199

    Experience with club level 3 extra FP

    UPDATED 2/12/19
    The program no longer includes the reserved viewing areas for nighttime spectaculars.
    I was told today the reserved viewing areas were only part of the program for the first 1-2 months.
    This really eliminates a lot of the value and changes the calculation IF you would otherwise spring for a dessert party.

    Also in regards to the extra FP not overlapping with dining reservations. I was able to make a dining reservation AFTER the FP were booked that overlapped a FP and the system had an error with the web version of MDE from my laptop but did not error and allowed me to book from my phone.

    In case anyone is wondering how this is working in practice I thought I’d write up my experience so far. It differs just a little in the fine details from initial reports which may be IT related more than anything (just my unsubstantiated theory). This will probably not come as a surprise, but the IT part of this offering leaves much to be desired. I wondered why Disney waited so long to come up with paid FP (given their love of squeezing every last dime out of people the last several years), possibly they couldn’t get the IT to work?

    The Basics:
    -Must be a club level room to book
    -$50 per person per day (before tax)
    -3 extra FP booked at 90 days
    -1 reserved viewing per day for a nighttime spectacular
    -Minimum of 3 days on the package but they do not have to be consecutive days or all days of your stay

    The Details:
    -Disney Signature Services (DSS ie club staff) will book all 6 FP at 90 days (from check out not check in date per the DIS thread, I haven’t confirmed this). Originally it was the 3 extra at 90 days and then the guest booked the regular FP at 60 days.

    -The 3 regular FP have to follow the normal booking rules and tiers and can only be in 1 park.

    -The 3 extra FP do not have to follow any tier rules and can be divided between any of the parks. For example, on day #1 our 3 extra FP were Test Track, Frozen Ever After, and Flight of Passage.

    -All 6 FP have to be different. For example, you are not supposed to make FoP with your regular 3 FP and then have FoP with your extra FP (although in practice you possibly can, see below).

    -All 6 FP cannot have overlapping 1 hr. windows. When this was first rolled out people reported they were able to get some overlap with the extra 3 FP windows booked by DSS but I was told that isn’t possible by the CM who booked my FP the first day. EDIT: the DSS CM was able to make an exception for me when he went in at 36 days to modify my FP. So the techinical ability is there for the bonus FP to infringe on the regular FP times, they just aren't supposed to allow overlaps as general practice.

    -The unexpected factor: The 3 extra FP cannot overlap with your dining reservations!!!! ARGH! It appears they decided to modify one of the very irritating earlier versions of MDE (that blocked FP from being booked at dining reservation times) for use in this pilot program. This was so irritating that back in the good ‘ol days I would book ADRs on my husband’s MDE and book the room reservation and FP on my MDE to avoid the problem. The CM couldn’t tell me exactly how much time is blocked for an ADR but it appears more than an hour. We had a 5:35 pm ADR and our latest offered FP window before was 4:30-5:30 and the earliest FP window after the meal was 7:15-8:15. The CM said it isn’t a consistent amount of time blocked and she just has to play with it to see what she can come up with.

    -Once you use your 3 original FP you can book 4th and beyond FP per the usual rules. Except that the 4th FP return window cannot overlap with your extra 3 FP windows. But the 4th etc. can be sprinkled between them. You do not have to use all 3 extra FP before booking and using 4th and beyond FP on the regular MDE FP system.

    -The DSS CM first books your regular 3 FP using the current version of MDE. Once they are booked you can go in and modify them to your hearts content following the normal rules (including the fact that the regular FPs DON’T have restrictions keeping them from overlapping ADRs). This is the exception I mentioned above. It appears there is nothing stopping me from changing a Navi River Journey to Flight of Passage in my regular FP section after the initial 6 FP are booked, even if I have FoP booked as one of the 3 extra FP. The system does not seem to “see” the extra 3 FP as duplicates. I have not gone as far as clicking “confirm” to change to a duplicate FP so that is why I say “possibly” you can have duplicates. But I can get to that last screen. EDIT: On the DIS FAQ page they state that members have reported successfully modifying one of the regular FP to become a duplicate of the club level FP. Although it would certainly limit the ability to call back later and ask DSS for help since the CM would likely note the duplicate and it would need to be changed back. And you cannot modify any of the club-level FP on your own, it requires a DSS CM. I also don’t know if DSS staff are monitoring what people do to modify their regular FP after the initial selections are made to pick up later duplications. I wouldn’t think they’d have time to make this a priority and my completely unsubstantiated theory is that this may be part of the reason they went to booking all 6 at 90 days. This way the CMs can at least make sure the initial booking follows the no duplications rules. Interestingly the system does “see” the return windows for the extra FP, so it will stop me from modifying any of my regular FP to times that overlap with the extra FP.

    -The DSS CM then books the 3 extra FP on the old version of MDE that was modified for use in this program. These are the ones where you have to pay attention to your ADRs and not have overlapping times. Or plan ahead and book your ADRs on a different MDE account (but then you wouldn’t get 180 + 10 booking advantage). The extra FP can only be modified by DSS staff. They show up on MDE just like a regular FP. But if you click on “see details” there are none of the options to modify, change party, or cancel. Original reports were that the extra FP showed up under a different heading in MDE from the regular FP, but I think they changed the tech system they are using for this (when it went to all 6 booked at 90 days and none of the 1 hr. windows could overlap) and now they show up in the regular section.

    -The regular FPs come from the normal pool. This means you do have a booking advantage signing up for the program in the 60-90 day range. Anything at any time is going to be available. Whereas if you wait until under 60 days to book your regular FP the usual restrictions apply as things get booked up.

    -The extra FPs come from a different FP pool than the regular FP. EDIT: It turns out the following information in brakets was NOT true, or is no longer true [The CM I spoke with told me there are really no limitations on availability because it doesn’t come from the regular FP pool. If you signed up for the program 5 days before check in they could still give you FoP at whatever time you’d like]. I called back at 36 days from check in to modify my AK day. I could not move my FoP time and was told FoP FP in both the regular and the bonus category were gone. My 2nd CM said that while the pools of FP are different, there are limits on the total number FP for any given attraction that can be distributed each day through the club level program. Glad I didn't trust the first CM and wait to book!!!!

    -Pay in full at the time of booking. 1-day cancellation policy. If some but not all days on the package are cancelled, you must at least maintain the minimum of 3 days booked on the package.

    -If you change to a non-club level room the package and extra FP will be cancelled and you will receive a refund (if it is more than 1 day in advance).

    -Make sure you have all your selections ready and plenty of time when you are ready to book. It took me 1 hr to book 3 days’ worth of selections (although I did have some extra time having discussions about AP stuff). The computer system is just plain slow. And the CM has to use the regular MDE system just like we do to book. If you want 9 am, 10 am, 11 am for your first 3 FP of the day it can take time to get the system to offer you those times bumping down in 5 minute increments.

    Reserved Viewing for the Nighttime Spectaculars:
    -One selection per day of your package.
    -You can’t bump the reserved viewing from one day on the package to a different night of your trip where you are not on the package. For example, we have the package on our departure day (10 pm flight out) and not on arrival day. We could not move our nighttime viewing option from departure day (where we can’t take advantage of it) to arrival day.
    -You can do duplicate selections. We have 2 nights in a row of HEA viewing.
    -The reserved viewing park does not have to match the park where you have booked your FP (if you have hopper tickets or AP).
    -MK: Happily Every After. Plaza Garden West (in front of Casey’s). The twin to the viewing area for the Dessert Party.
    -Epcot: IlluminNations. Germany on the waterfront.
    -Hollywood Studios: Fantasmic! Near the newish dessert party viewing area. Apparently, there is no option for preferred viewing for the Star Wars Fireworks. For that you would still need to purchase a dessert party. Of course.
    -Animal Kingdom: Rivers of Light. The FP viewing area in the front rows closest to the water. ETA my experience was they sent me to the dining package entrance but the CMs didn't have a list at either entrance and didn't seem to be sure themselves where we were supposed to go.


    Strategy and cost considerations:
    -We booked our regular 3 FP selections each day first and then booked the 3 extras as the last 3. This was so we could search for 4th FP and beyond as soon as possible. I can’t come up with a scenario where you would want to have your extra FP earlier than the regular FP other than availability issues. If you book FP under 60 days and can only get a specific FP at the time you want by using the extra FP option. In that situation you can sprinkle the extra FP in between the regular FP. But then you will be able to start searching for 4th FP later.

    -EDIT. The following in brackets does not seem to be true. The 90-day booking window does matter because the extra club level FP do have a limited number available per day for each attraction and will run out as you get closer to check in, just like the standard FP [The 90-day booking window is not as big a deal as it appears at first. At least if what I was told by the DSS CM about open availability for extra FP is true. I would think her information would be reliable since she has first-hand knowledge booking people’s extra FP at under 60 days. I had some problems with booking the package with my AP (see below) and was upset about potentially missing out on the 60-90 day FP booking window. In hindsight there are only a few hard to get FP when booking at 30-60 days (FoP, Mine train, and FEA not so much anymore). One could even book at 30 days and just be sure to use the extra FP selections for those hard-to-get FP. Although in the end I didn’t want to “risk it” myself and find out the CM was inaccurate about extra FP being whatever you want whenever you want].

    -The ability to split the extra FP between parks is nice for park hopping. We wanted to do FoP more than once but could only book it once on our AK day. But we could do a hop to AK to do FoP on our Epcot day and not have to worry about having to RD Epcot with no FP just to secure FP at AK later that day.

    -We figured the nighttime viewing into the cost calculation. We would have done 2 dessert parties if we hadn’t booked this plan. I had those parties booked. Once I confirmed I could make the package reservation the CM cancelled the dessert parties (she actually had to cancel them because as an ADR they blocked my extra FP booking-grrr). I was refunded $236 for 2 people for 2 parties and charged $319 for 2 people for 3 days of this program. For $83 more I was able to get 9 extra FP selections over 3 days. If you aren’t someone who schedules dessert parties, or if you actually want to eat the desserts, then the cost calculation would be different. But it seemed worth it to me in this particular situation. I don't know if I'd be willing to do it when I go with my family of 4. In this situation I was just paying for 1 person.

    -It has been pointed out that this is a pretty sweet deal for Disney. They keep people in club level from being back at the hotel partaking of drinks and desserts in exchange for reserved viewing. They keep you in the park for minimum of 5-6 hrs a day using your FP and not back at the hotel eating in the lounge. They keep you out of lines so that you have more time to shop. And they charge you for the privilege and it costs them almost nothing. And yet, it still seemed worth doing for a short 3-night weekend trip with a good friend.


    AP considerations:
    -Thank you to AngiTN who was able to explain why I had problems with my AP and booking this plan when the DSS CMs didn’t know what was going on! Although I worked with 3 different people so at least those 3 CMs now know more about the issue.

    -These issues are going to apply to very very very few people.

    -People with APs booking this plan at 61-90 days from check-in are going to be limited to 7 days total of FP. Even if you have an onsite reservation for longer.

    -Once you hit 60 days from check-in you will be able to book FP for as many nights as you have an onsite reservation.

    -It is an IT problem and the CMs may not acknowledge it is an IT problem. They may just tell you “it is company policy, call back when you are eligible”. And they might not even understand when you will become “eligible”.

    -Basically, for FP booking purposes the MDE system does not “see” the onsite resort reservation until you are 60 days or less from check in.

    -APs without an onsite reservation are limited to 7 days of advance FP booking. Therefore, if you are at 61-90 days out the system will not “see” your onsite reservation, and will tell you you are limited to 7 days of advance FP booking.

    -Once you hit 60 days from check-in, the system will “see” you have an onsite resort reservation and will allow you to book FP for as many nights as you are onsite. To some maximum number of days. It is at least 13 days since I have done that many in the past. I don’t know what the absolute maximum number of days you could hold at one time. But if you book at 60 days there is the loss of the 61-90 day booking advantage (although as I noted above that may not be such a big deal after all).

    -It became an issue for me because I have a March onsite trip booked and am already holding 7 days of FP for that trip (an 8 night reservation). So even though my club level trip is only 3 nights, I was told I was maxed out from the first trip. In fact, the first CM I talked to didn’t understand the issue fully and told me I could only book more FP once I used some of the FP I already had booked. Not the correct response, which was that once the 60-day window opened for my May onsite stay I would be able to book FP days equal to my cumulative number of nights on site between the 2 trips.

    -I came up with 2 work arounds. If you happen to have an extra ticket you can link that to your account along with your AP and then you will be eligible to book that many days of FP in addition to your 7 AP days. Once you are under 60 days you can transfer the extra ticket out and your AP will be sufficient to keep all days of FP. The 2nd option is an onsite stay that is less than 60 days from check in that is longer than 7 nights. For example, if I made my March onsite stay 10 nights instead of 8 nights the system would “see” me as having 10 nights onsite and allow me to book up to 10 days of FP in advance. And it doesn’t care if 3 of those days of FP are booked in May even though the room reservation is in March. The 2nd option isn’t optimal though because it ties up a room reservation that you aren’t going to use that someone else might need.
    Last edited by Anne; 02-12-2019 at 01:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member momof2boys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    1,062
    Thank you for posting this detailed recap!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    Quote Originally Posted by momof2boys View Post
    Thank you for posting this detailed recap!
    I hope all the details will help others so they don't have to call 3 times to get all the needed information like I ended up doing. Then again things will likely change and this information will eventually be obsolete.

    I will update again once we go to report back on how works in the park.

    I know I am a little verbose, but even I couldn't believe how long the post ended up being. It seems a little crazy that something that should be simple has so many little rules and caveats!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    809
    I doubt I'll ever end up using it, but I love seeing this kind of information set forth so methodically for the community. :D

  5. #5
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    Update:
    I called today at 36 days in advance to modify my AK day and discovered that while the extra FP through the pilot program are from a separate pool than the regular FP, the extra FP pool is FINITE. At 36 days in advance I was unable to change my FoP FP time through the extra FP program as all the FoP FP from the extra FP pool had been distributed for the day. This is different than what I was told by the CM when I initially booked and I've updated the master post to reflect this new information. When the extra FP for any given attraction will run out compared to the regular system I have no idea. I think I originally booked at 85ish days in advance and at that time everything was available for any time in both pools of FP so as of now you don't have to worry that hard to get extra FP will be gone right at 90 days. But I have no information beyond that.

    The DSS CM I worked with this time around was great, and very helpful. He was efficient at working with the system and was able to move my FP around so that in the end I was able to get what I needed without moving my FoP FP. I ended up with a better schedule than what I originally had as far as efficiency. Although part of that was because he was able to "make an exception" for me and book one show FP window that overlapped the FP before it. He could only do that by using the extra FP and not the regular FP so that did mess up my plan to use all 3 regular FP before using the extra FP in order to book 4th and beyond FP sooner. But for this day it won't matter since it is our departure day we will use our 6 FP and then need to leave for our flight. I've also updated the first post to add this new information as well, that the technology will allow the CMs to overlap FP windows on the extra FP system, but they aren't supposed to do this a rule.

  6. #6
    Booked my CL today almost two weeks after my 90 day window opened. Had no issues other than technical, took 24 minutes for three days--though would have taken much longer if I had not already had Anne's guidance.

    Here's my favorite day:
    FP easy.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Shute; 04-16-2018 at 07:07 PM.
    Struggling author of yourfirstvisit.net and co-author of The easy Guide.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    That looks like an amazing day!!!!
    So glad the post was helpful.
    A drop in the bucket compared to the countless times your book and posts have helped us plan. Thank you!

  8. #8
    Confirming a couple of points Anne already made:

    easy.jpg
    Struggling author of yourfirstvisit.net and co-author of The easy Guide.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Snaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    971
    Dave, how did you word question 2? Parsing that answer, it could mean "they" are not able to duplicate within each category of three FPs, or they might mean they can't double up at all between the six.

    They also don't actually say "you" can't double up later.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Snaz View Post
    Dave, how did you word question 2? Parsing that answer, it could mean "they" are not able to duplicate within each category of three FPs, or they might mean they can't double up at all between the six.

    They also don't actually say "you" can't double up later.
    Here's my exact question: "Is it true that among our six FP+ for a single day there can be no repeats--so that we could not, for example, either do Flight of Passage twice in our 90 day FP+ that day, or once in our 90 and once in our 60 the same day?"

    Note that I specifically did not ask about Anne's point on changing around the 60 day FP+ to a dupe of one of your 90 day FP, as I did not want to give them ideas about IT changes to rule that out!

    Although frankly I suspect that when we check in they will review our FP+ anyway and if we are troublemakers, we may hear from them. I intend to try Anne's approach shortly, but I won't know if it worked until we actually use the doubled FP+.
    Last edited by Dave Shute; 04-18-2018 at 07:58 AM.
    Struggling author of yourfirstvisit.net and co-author of The easy Guide.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    If they have already booked your 60 day FP you shouldn't need to wait until the 60 day window to modify them. At least when I did mine I could go in right at 85 days and play around with modifying.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    If they have already booked your 60 day FP you shouldn't need to wait until the 60 day window to modify them. At least when I did mine I could go in right at 85 days and play around with modifying.
    Of course!! I'll edit...
    Struggling author of yourfirstvisit.net and co-author of The easy Guide.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    WEST MILFORD NJ
    Posts
    372
    Anne, thanks very much for the concise info. Tempting! We finally bought APs for the first time... maybe we'll need to squeak in a 3 day CL trip over the summer.

    Dave! That might be the awesomest WDW day ever. Have fun :D
    Last edited by HeyHeather; 04-18-2018 at 05:47 PM. Reason: too much enthusiasm lol
    Jan-Feb '05 ASM, Jan-Feb '06 Pop, Jan-Feb '15 CBR, April '16 AoA, Aug-Sept '16 CSR, Oct-Nov '16 PORr, Feb 1-5 '17 PORr, WMHS Band April 6-13 '18 AKL, Mar 5-10 '19 AoA

  14. #14
    First - Anne and Dave thank you for all this information. Now I need help in small bits as I am overwhelmed because I just booked my trip and I am at the 99 day mark an haven't secured all my park days with dining.

    1. The first time I am eligible to book a regular FP is at the 60 day mark. correct?
    2. I am eligible to book 3 extra FP (without worry of the TIERs) at 90 days?
    - That would mean I HAVE to book my EXTRAs before my regulars and when window of 60 days opens I cannot duplicate the EXTRAs? And I have to be mindful of my ADR reservations well....

    I know the information is up there but I want to make sure I understood what I need to do first!


    Thank you! Carol
    ~ Carol






  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Carol View Post
    1. The first time I am eligible to book a regular FP is at the 60 day mark. correct?
    2. I am eligible to book 3 extra FP (without worry of the TIERs) at 90 days?
    My experience was that I could book both the 60 and the 90 at 90 days. (The 90, btw, is from departure, not arrival). My helper took me through each day, asked me all 6 that I wanted to book, and we worked together on which should be 90s and which 60s. No ride can be repeated across the 6. The 90s can be of any tier, and, if you have a hopper, any parks. The 60s follow the standard rules--one Tier One, all in one park.
    Struggling author of yourfirstvisit.net and co-author of The easy Guide.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    My experience was the same as Dave. All 6 FP per day could be booked at 90 days by the Signature Services CM

    What I am curious about but didn't think to try is once the 90 day window is "unlocked" by booking this package, can you make 90 day FP for days before or after the days you are signed up for the program (the way you can with the 60 day window). My guess is that you likely can't and that the "unlocking" is for the specific dates of the program only. I'm curious if anyone tried.

    I will be there in 2 weeks to try it out and will report back how it goes in the parks.

  17. #17
    Ok I understand now . I hope I get a good DSS helper on the phone when it comes time to plan.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    One other thing, to your point #2 Carol . You only have to worry about overlapping ADR times for the extra FP, not the regular FP. And yes, no duplicates for all 6.

  19. #19
    Senior Member tylerandalexsmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    868
    I've never done any club levels. Do you have to be an AP holder,or can anyone get it?
    Andrea
    Seriously addicted to Disney
    Cast: Me DH DS (20) DD (13)

    Past Trips:
    WDW (me as a kid) Dec 1972 🎢 WDW (ASMo) May 2003 🎢 WDW (ASMo) April 2007 🎢 WDW/NSSHP (CBR) Sept 2009 🎢 Cruise (Dream)/WDW (Poly)/NSSHP Oct 2011 🎢 WDW (CBR) Christmas 2011 🎢 DLR (Disneyland Hotel) Christmas 2012 🎢 WDW (POR) Thanksgiving/ MVMCP 2015 🎢 WDW (POR) July 2017 🎢 Heading Back (WL) December 2019!!!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    Quote Originally Posted by tylerandalexsmom View Post
    I've never done any club levels. Do you have to be an AP holder,or can anyone get it?
    Anyone can do club, they just charge more for the same room and you have access to the club lounge with food/snacks. There tend to be AP discounts, but you don't have to have an AP to book the room.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tylerandalexsmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    868
    Thanks!
    Andrea
    Seriously addicted to Disney
    Cast: Me DH DS (20) DD (13)

    Past Trips:
    WDW (me as a kid) Dec 1972 🎢 WDW (ASMo) May 2003 🎢 WDW (ASMo) April 2007 🎢 WDW/NSSHP (CBR) Sept 2009 🎢 Cruise (Dream)/WDW (Poly)/NSSHP Oct 2011 🎢 WDW (CBR) Christmas 2011 🎢 DLR (Disneyland Hotel) Christmas 2012 🎢 WDW (POR) Thanksgiving/ MVMCP 2015 🎢 WDW (POR) July 2017 🎢 Heading Back (WL) December 2019!!!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    Back from the trip and I have a few updates. Overall it went well. I wasn’t totally convinced the bonus FPs would work until we scanned at the Mickey reader. But no glitches with redeeming any of the FP!

    Changing Bonus FP
    As mentioned above, changing bonus FP has to be done through DSS and that is a little bit of a pain when you are on site. Sometimes the phone line is answered right away, sometimes it is a 15-minute wait on hold. So be prepared that it might take some time if you want to alter your bonus FP during your trip.

    Also, the DSS phone line hours are 9 am to 5 pm EST seven days a week. If you decide you want to change your plans at 7 am there is no one to help you. The club lounge staff, while very friendly, were unable to help with the bonus FP. There was no one physically in the Jambo House club lounge who knew any specifics about this pilot program. They were aware of the existence of the program but that was about it. Their response was 100% that for any assistance I would need to call the DSS phone line. The staff in the lounge were not even able to confirm the locations for preferred viewing for the nighttime spectaculars.

    The DIS had a report that there is a phone number to call for assistance during hours outside 9 am to 5 pm. That is not currently an option. I was told by the CM at the regular DSS phone line that the extended hours phone line was a pilot program (a pilot within a pilot program…reminds me of the Onion headline “Starbucks to open in bathroom of Starbucks” but I digress) and they found so few people called that they discontinued the staffing. I was told the best option was to contact Guest Services within the park when outside the 9 am to 5 pm hours if I needed help with FP. I was told I could also try the club lounge text number, but the one time I texted that number I got no reply at all. And I think (?) that those texts are handled by the club lounge staff who would be unlikely to be skilled in this area.

    The main DSS phone line CMs were very helpful with changing the bonus FP; once I could actually get someone on the phone. As an added challenge during our weekend there were a lot of problems with glitches with the FP system. There was an update to the system the week before and things have been wonky with FP ever since. I found this to be true when working to book 4th and beyond FP on the regular system. One minute I could book normally, the next I could only see 1 person in our party, or the system would say all 4 parks had distributed all FP for the day but it was only 10 am, or the system would only show our standard FP and none of our 3 bonus FP. The system happened to be having one of it’s senior moments when I got a CM on the line. He could search and refresh and get lots of different options to come up for us but then the system would glitch out and he couldn’t book the FPs he was finding. He was super nice though and called tech support and got it sorted out by giving us an anytime Haunted Mansion FP (which was what we were looking for). But that all takes time. Time that could be spent just plain waiting in line for the rides. Or time spent booking a 4th FP yourself (if the system is working). Praise for the DSS CMs, they are good at manipulating the FP system. They can refresh with the best of them and will work to find the FP and time you want (at least the ones I spoke with). I was a little worried they would check once and say “all gone for the day”. And when the CM went to call tech services he said “don’t worry, I’ll get you a good one, I won’t settle for a Philharmagic”.

    Preferred Viewing:
    We were originally going to see HEA both nights. I wish we had. But it was raining and my friend didn’t want to hop from AK to MK only to risk having the fireworks cancelled or delayed. So, we stayed at AK and saw ROL. By that point at night, no rain, so we totally could have gone to MK for HEA. The plus side is we had a little more time to enjoy AK at night, had a great sunset safari complete with roaring lion, and got to enjoy the Tree of Life projections. All things we wouldn’t have been able to do if we had hopped to MK in time for HEA.

    ROL preferred viewing is not in the FP area as reported above and I will edit in the master post. Although maybe it was supposed to be and the CMs at the entrance just didn’t know it. We went to the FP entrance and were directed to the Dining package entrance across from the Nemo show. The CM at that entrance didn’t have a list of expected people and said “sure I guess this is where you go” when I pulled out my printed itinerary. There were no reserved seats in the front rows, we just filled in where ever there was space with the dining package folks. The CMs were less organized here than at MK.

    This was our view arriving 15 minutes in advance of the show. It was not a busy night due to time of year and a rainy day.


    ROL-May2018.jpg

    I would recommend having the club lounge staff print your itinerary each morning. It has all 6 pre-booked FP listed and will have the reserved viewing noted and show time. I found it was easier to say “we are doing the pilot club level extra FP and reserved viewing program” while brandishing the printed itinerary as a visual aid. The CMs seemed to “get” what I was referring to faster with the printed information. Otherwise I would get a blank stare and a “what program”? Not that we needed to do a lot of explaining at the park, for the most part the program ran itself. It was really just an issue when changes were made day-of.

    HEA viewing was at the Plaza Garden West (in front of Casey’s). Only the far left (when looking at the castle) of the garden was roped off for the preferred viewing area. There was a CM posted at the entrace who had a list of people expected and we just gave her our name and were let in. It was a small enough area that there was only a small portion of rail at the front where you could stand with an unobstructed view. There are a lot more bushes and lamp posts in the area than I had ever noticed when just walking through! There were 4 groups other than ourselves. Two families with kids and two couples. Only three people stood at the rail (and were crunched together) because the families were sitting. If anyone were to stand at the remaining rail area they would obstruct the view of those sitting. There were few enough people that we managed, but I could see people getting testy with limited good site lines because the roped off area is so small. I stood behind one of the families and felt my view was fine. My friend wanted to be up at the rail for photos and she felt a little crunched trying to stay out of the way for those sitting. We arrived for HEA about 15 minutes in advance.

    This was the view. The man to the left with the baseball cap was at the front rail of our area. Then there was an open walkway in front of the rail, and then the shoulder-kids. The music for the show started and they popped up like magic

    HEAMay2018.jpg

  23. #23
    Great update Anne! I would be nervous using the extra FP the first time too. That made me laugh. 😃

    I'm trying to figure out how I want to work out AK. (Split day or just stay until finished our wants...park closes at 830 pm in August) Its a very hot park for me and I usually go for half day. However, now with this pilot program I want to experience Pandora area. Did you like AK at night ? Would you say Pandora was a must see at night? Thanks!

    Carol

  24. #24
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4,199
    Quote Originally Posted by Carol View Post
    Great update Anne! I would be nervous using the extra FP the first time too. That made me laugh. 

    I'm trying to figure out how I want to work out AK. (Split day or just stay until finished our wants...park closes at 830 pm in August) Its a very hot park for me and I usually go for half day. However, now with this pilot program I want to experience Pandora area. Did you like AK at night ? Would you say Pandora was a must see at night? Thanks!

    Carol
    That is a tough question. I really enjoyed Pandora at night. But having seen it I don't feel compelled to do it again so I don’t know if I’d say it’s a “must see”. I actually enjoyed the tree of life projection shows a little more than Rivers of Light.

    This made me think about some other strategy-type issues. We briefly considered doing the program again in the fall and so for a short time I had 2 different proposed itineraries. The thing that struck me was that with the “you can’t duplicate FP” rules it really pushes one to hop more. If you do two half days at AK on different days you can get 2 FP for FoP. But if you do one full day at AK you can only do 1 FP for FoP. So I guess what I’m saying is that if I was going to do a morning and an afternoon and AK I would split it over 2 different days. Unless FoP is not a priority for your group.

  25. #25
    Hi Anne, thanks for your helpful report! I wanted to know if you ended up being able to book a 4th regular day-of FPP that overlapped with the time of any of your extra FPP's? I see in your original post you say that you do not believe that will be possible; was wondering if you tested it in practice....thanks!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •