A Disney evening

This was not our best visit to Disney. We were in Florida for the annual family vacation and thought we’d fly in, head to Disney for the afternoon/evening before heading out to the beach. This was supposed to be a bit of a treat since we’d had a rough start to our year. Doug bought the tickets online, linked what he thought was my account, and thus began our problems. I was able to book us both fast passes online with my account, so there was no indicator anything was awry until we got there.

We both got into the park, so that worked. But then came time for our first fast pass. And it didn’t work. They sent us clear across Tomorrowland, we had to explain the situation to a cast member after waiting. We went back – and the wrist bands still didn’t work. We went back but that cast member had already left, so we had to wait again, explain it to someone new. She gave us paper fast passes for later.

At this point we were going to be late for our dinner reservation at Boma. So we put off trying to fix it again for then, though we were kind of upset. We had a nice dinner, mentioned our problem to the waitress, and she suggested talking to the customer service at the Animal Kingdom lodge. We did that and he was very nice, and after typing at the computer and fiddling with the magic bands for over a half hour, said it was fixed. We went back to Magic Kingdom… and then couldn’t even get in the park. At which point we talked to our 4th and 5th cast member to explain the problem a fourth time. By this point, it was after 8 pm and we had been on exactly one ride – Pirates, which we’d waited a substantial amount of time for. It happened to be rainy/stormy, so the parade and the outdoor rides were largely closed, giving rides that normally didn’t have much of a wait, super long waits. We decided to wait in the line because we wanted to get on at least one ride.

Anyway, another 40 minutes later, and these two cast members said they had sorted things out. We think what happened is that there were dummy accounts for both Doug and I, created because when we were going with large groups for the Princess half marathon a few years ago, you had to supply people’s names for dining reservations. And there ended up being extra identities for us. Doug bought the tix with his account and then somehow managed to connect his dummy account and I think my regular one, which is why I could make fast passes. It was all really confusing, but their system couldn’t handle all this, even though it should have. It shouldn’t have mattered who had accounts – all that should have mattered was that there were two tickets associated with two identities, and the fast passes should have been associated with the identities on those tickets. But it got totally screwed up somehow.

Anyway, but the time we sorted this, it was after 9pm and the park closed at 11. We’d spent several hours of time we paid a premium for to talk to 5 cast members. This was not the relaxing fun evening I was hoping for. :-/ They did comp us two park hopper day passes for the future, which wouldn’t expire, with 6 fast passes a piece. And then gave us a whole slew of fast passes to use for our remaining two hours. Plus the guy at Animal Kingdom gave us one, plus the 2nd cast member gave us one. So we raced around for 2 hours and I think had time to use all but one of the free fast passes. So we got on rides at last, but we really had to cram them in.

That was the bad. The good was that we were still new to Pokemon Go and it was kind of a wonderland compared to home. Lures everywhere. We each took over Cinderella’s castle. We had a spectacular rainbow and sunset, and we caught the late Electrical Parade at 11pm and by that time, everyone had left so it was almost a private showing. Plus dinner at Boma.

So not all bad, but I spent more time in stress and tears than I would have liked for an expensive Disney experience.

And in further proof of their screwed up, overly complicated computer system… when we tried to use those comped tickets in October, when they put them plus the passes we bought onto our magic bands, the cast member put the comped tickets on our last day, but then accidentally put the expiration of that comped pass as the first day. So we had to visit guest services yet again. But ultimately we triumphed!

Here are some pictures.

So many lures!
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Casey’s for corndog nuggets! Yum!
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Castle!
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yay!
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Tiki room!
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Boma desserts! Zebra domes!
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Spectacular sunset from the monorail!

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Fireworks over Snow White’s cottage:
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Electrical Parade:
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