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Still the happiest place on earth ... not in my experience.

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by DrQ, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. bluehende

    bluehende TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    In my mind I was thinking major attractions. Navi and FEA probably fit that bill and I would have interest in. It is good to see those available. When I was planning and canceled last year neither of those would have been available due to toy story land not being open yet. I assume that is taking a little pressure off. We rope drop and also shutdown. We take a break mid day if we are tired.
     
  2. bluehende

    bluehende TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yeah I would not chance it. I know it used to be a strategy that worked. You book fast passes then cancel your room. It did create problems for disney with the number of cancellations when word got out. I think they figured out a way to link the cancellation so the fast pass was cancelled too.
     
  3. DeeCee

    DeeCee TUG Member

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    Right now the Platinum (no black out dates) Annual Pass price for a new pass, not a renewal, for DVC members is $749 plus tax.
    I don't think it went up $200 since last year. Perhaps you bought the Gold Annual Pass, which new for DVC members this year is priced at $609 plus tax. The renewal is $517 plus tax. Your pricing for last year sounds like a new Gold Annual Pass at the DVC discount.

    Being a DVC member who used to buy the AP's, I can say it was a significant savings over regular park passes if used often throughout the year. I haven't purchased, and am not going to purchase, the AP's anymore.
    After almost 19 years of Disney trips and with increasing prices not only on passes, but dining, etc. as well, we tend to only go into the parks 2 or three days a year.....and we're still working on those No Expire Passes, that now expire in 2030. Hmmmm....
     
  4. LannyPC

    LannyPC TUG Member

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    Hence, the unmitigated price increases.
     
  5. LannyPC

    LannyPC TUG Member

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    I wonder the same thing about NFL playoff tickets, especially the Super Bowl.

    P.S. Sorry this is a little off topic but it's applicable at this time of year.
     
    mentalbreak likes this.
  6. Beachclubmum

    Beachclubmum Guest

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    Wait! Non-expiring tickets will expire in 2030??? I missed that announcement.

    (Tried to quote Dee Cee)
     
  7. glypnirsgirl

    glypnirsgirl Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We don't wait in lines, either. We are absolute Disney nuts. You know when you get to the park an hour before rope drop and there are 4 people in line ahead of you?

    Two of them are us. We get up at 5:30, get dressed and are waiting for the first bus to pick us up. If we are not able to put our bellies against the turnstile (aka being the first in line), my husband considers it a failure.

    We race to the first attraction that we want to see and get on, go, and race around to do it again. This is because in most parks, we have a single favorite ride that we will do over and over. And our favorites are not necessarily the big block-busters (but sometimes they are). At Magic Kingdom, we always fastpass Peter Pan, Splash Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. Many days we don't do SpaceMountain at all. It's Buzz and Splash that we will do over and over.

    At DHS, it's Toy Story Midway Mania. And I love Slinkydog, too. And Little Mermaid show. (I actively dislike the Disney Jr. sing-a-long). I love the Muppet Show. We love StarTours.

    We get our FastPasses at 60 days so that we know that we can get on our favorites. We head back to the room at 11:30 and frequently we don't go back to the parks. I won't do lines.

    The manic pace that we do for 3 hours is not for everyone. Standing in lines is not for us.

    We are taking our 4 year old granddaughter for her 5th birthday ---- just 4 year old and two grandparents. I am looking more forward to it than any trip we have done in years.

    I bought Disney Vacation Club points when that is what it was called --- just Disney Vacation Club. I couple of years later, they renamed it Old Key West. Best money I have ever spent.
     
    Patri and silentg like this.
  8. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    This post is spot on. We used to take great advantage of FP, when we got the paper passes. We would go early, wait for rope drop, go directly tothe ride we wanted to ride first, Rick would get FP's while I went to the line. This worked especially well for Toy Story Mania. We worked the system well, and we would hear people say, "Hey how are these people getting to skip the lines?" And someone in their party would answer, "It cost more to use that Fast Pass system." Nope. Only in Universal does it cost more. It was free, and we used and abused it. When FP+ arrived, suddenly everyone knew that it was a benefit included in the ticket, and even rides that were never busy had lines, because now you can get a FP+ for that ride.

    The changes to the FP+ have been horrible for us because we generally do not stay onsite. We choose accommodations at timeshares we love, especially Marriott's Cypress Harbour. I would rather stay there than a Disney one bedroom via exchange, and there are generally just two of us. Plus, I always have quite a few deposits in II.

    I have gotten Disney exchanges for our kids in the past, and they love staying onsite, but the lack of 2 bedrooms is disappointing to our daughter, who really liked those for keeping the kids in separate beds.

    We rode Flight of Passage a few times this past year, but we always went before opening and waited in lines. The shortest wait was about 45 minutes, which was not bad at all, considering the difficulty of getting up early to arrive at the park by 8 AM (one hour before regular people could get in).
     
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  9. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    It is a Platinum Plus pass. It’s still valid right now since I activated it last August. It allows unlimited entry into all parks including park hopper. There was a 25% discount for DVC members in 2017. You were allowed to activate the annual pass anytime in 2018.

    You've successfully added a Walt Disney World® Annual Pass to My Disney Experience for XX.
    The Pass:
    • DVC Member Platinum Plus Pass - New Certificate
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 11:21 AM
  10. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Other then waiting in line for the rope drop and probably the first bus.

    Do people frown on parents using one fast past for the young child and parent? I did it over 19 days when we had our season pass. Only questioned by one employee the whole time and I told him my son was too small to go on the ride himself. Figured it out when there were not enough fast passes available for the 4 of us. So we did six fast passes, a parade, show, little kid rides with no line and would call it a day. Really good when it was just my son and I when we used my other sons and wife's.

    My guess is for some it would be worth buy two annual passes so each get more fast passes per day.
     
  11. Big Matt

    Big Matt TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I am very similar to you, but at about 11:30 we grab lunch somewhere and then hit a couple of things that are easy to get and in air conditioning like Philharmagic, Hall of Presidents, or Carousel of Progress in MK. Tons like that in Epcot and Studios. We then wander around and shop and maybe get ice cream, watch a parade and leave. Maybe go back for fireworks later.

    The other thing we do a lot of is go visit other resorts using Disney transportation such as boat to Wilderness Lodge, Boats to and from Disney Springs, etc. I refuse to even get in line if it is more than 15 minutes standby. I always see everything I want.

     
  12. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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  13. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I always go to the My Disney Experience on the computer.
    Get fast passes there, make dining reservations there and plan the day around fast pass schedule.
    In all the years I’ve been going to Disney, I only saw the rope drop once, about 5 years ago, when the city turned off the water at my house for repair in the street. Got up early with my Mum and we headed to Disney for a few hours. I miss going to the parks with her. Now my Daughter has a annual pass so we are planning to go together a lot this year.
    We still enjoy Disney and have a AP for weekdays . I also discovered there is a designated turnstyle for Annual Pass holders and free parking, just a couple of perks, but I’ll take them! Oh yes, I live in Florida so Disney is my playground.
    Silentg
     
  14. bankr63

    bankr63 TUG Member

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    Just stumbled upon this discussion thanks to the weekly newsletter.

    As a regular Orlando vacationer, and owner of two Orlando timeshares, I am okay with the price increases. I agree that the parks keep getting busier and Disney has to do something to control the crowds. Short of limiting attendance and holding lotteries to determine who gets to go (imagine THAT!), the only capitalist thing to do is to raise prices to what the market will bear while maintaining quality. It is a tough balancing act. I'd rather pay more to go to a park that is less crowded and have a better experience than pay less for a jam packed park and a lousy experience. We have been attending regularly for 10+ years now (a lot less than some here, but quite a few visits) and really haven't noticed that much of a change. If you know what you are doing (learn to turn left when the crowd goes right, follow a good touring plan, maximize FP and now FP+, etc.), then Disney is still a great experience. I should add that every one of our visits has been on our provincial March break (DW is a teacher) which I think has also been FL's March break every time, so crowds are generally pretty high.

    As the kids grew (they no longer come along) we graduated to USF and IOA with the bigger faster rides. Over the years we have discovered just how much Central Florida actually has to offer, there is so much to do without stepping foot on Disney property that Orlando remains our go to vacation. Looking at the price quotes above, I will continue to buy tickets for Disney in the future - last year's trip saw me use the last main park attractions on my 10 day NEWPFAM tickets bought for somewhere around $500 back around 2010 (everyone else in the family still has a few visits left). I don't think that $100ish per day is out of line with the value of the experience. I think the Disney park prices provide similar entertainment value to the other area attractions (USF, IOA, SeaWorld, Kennedy, LL etc). I do think that $65 for the waterparks is getting out of line with comparable attractions, but I still have 5 or 6 'and more' left on my ticket, so lots of time for that to correct.

    Overall our vacation costs have actually declined annually as we have learned how to do it smartly. Our accommodation costs are fixed and reasonable, I pay more per night at the HIExpress or Hampton Inn on the drive down than I pay for our timeshare. Switching to driving has greatly decreased our vacation costs, but I actually enjoy the 24 hour drive down from Canada. Overall a week at Disney costs us about 1-2% of our annual gross household income - that's okay with me.

    I guess I too am starting to rant a bit, but to the OP's point, Disney is not (yet) pricing out the middle class simply because the parks keep getting more and more full of middle class Americans (and Canadians, Mexicans, Brits, Chinese, you name it). Disney does appear to be trying to price some out to control its product experience, but they are having a pretty tough go of it!
     
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  15. Big Matt

    Big Matt TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Silentg, I would do it just the same as you if I lived near the parks. Go for a couple hours or go all day. Very simple if you have the annual pass. No pressure and way more fun.
     
  16. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I agree with you. There are many ways to get a great Disney experience but it appears to be limited to those of us who know how to take advantage of them and/or who are DVC members with all the extra advantages.
     
  17. jpd88

    jpd88 Guest

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    Back in 1986 or 87, I vowed to NEVER to visit Disney Orlando between Christmas and New Years Eve because of the crowd. Our daughter was 7 or 8. Never say never! Just returned from the most crowded place we've ever been. Got on 2 rides with my 8 year old grandson. Upon leaving one park, I noticed that the posted wait time for a popular attraction was 4.5 hours! Walt Disney would be ashamed at what his once acclaimed "quality family time" park has become. I don't consider standing in line with family "quality time". $50 for priority one day parking is outrageous, but it's par for this course. One time in the mid-80s I discovered that the optimal visit date was a weekday between Thanksgiving and Christmas ....got to every attraction we wanted and with nary a 10 minute wait. Lived in Florida during the 80's; now in California and family planned this trip so as not to have grandson miss any school days. I'm finished with Disney. We'll hike/bike/ski the Sierra Nevada mountains in lieu of crowded/expensive theme parks. That's quality family time.
     
  18. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I am not sure that skiing on popular days at the Sierra Nevada ski resorts would be any better than going to Disney. Holidays at the California ski resorts are absolutely nuts and super expensive. We are season passholders at Squaw and we avoid holidays. We do not even consider Northstar anymore because the line to get up to where the lifts are is way more crowded compared to Squaw. We just left Squaw and the parking lot was full by 9:30 am. We got there at 8:45 am and as were were leaving, we said someone got lucky to get our parking spot. Even at 8:45, we had to park a lot further away this year than last year. Thankfully we also have a season locker and do not need walk in boots and haul gear. I would not call skiing a less expensive or less crowded family vacation.
     
  19. ba2471

    ba2471 Guest

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  20. paxsarah

    paxsarah TUG Member

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    Do you mean when the child is under 3 and doesn't require a ticket? That's how it's supposed to work - no ticket, no fastpass necessary (or even possible). If the child is over 3 and used a ticket to enter a park, the child and anyone who enters the fastpass line requires a fastpass. Period.
     
  21. mentalbreak

    mentalbreak Guest

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    No. They show an expiration in the system, but Disney has stated they still have no expiration. And I believe them - they have a track record of honoring what they have sold in the past when things have changed on a going forward basis.
     
  22. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Some older Disney tickets with no expiration may be transferable.
    You may want to include these in your Will.
    .
     
  23. paxsarah

    paxsarah TUG Member

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    If they haven't been used, they are transferable. If they have been, they are attached to the individual who's used it.
     
  24. MichaelColey

    MichaelColey TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Great example, and I think these new waits are largely due to FPs. There never used to be a wait for Buzz. We used to do Buzz over and over, walk on. (I almost always get 999,999.) It has a very high hourly capacity. Now, it’s is regularly 30-45 minutes outside of the first hour after the park opens. The only thing that changed is FP+. 50-70% of the riders are FP+, so there is less standby capacity and the lines build.
     
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  25. MichaelColey

    MichaelColey TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    What Disney really needs to do is to build more high capacity, smaller footprint attractions, to “soak up” some of the extra people. Attendance has grown by 20% over the past 10 years. They’ve freshened things up by replacing and changing attractions, but they haven’t increased total ride capacity anywhere near as much as attendance.

    Toy Story Land is a great example. On the surface, it looks like two brand new rides (additional capacity), but only one of those is high capacity (Slinky Dog Dash), the new land takes a TON of space, and they actually closed quite a few things (Back Lot Tour, Lights Motors Action and more) to make room for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was actually a net loss in total ride capacity.
     
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