A Nightmare Fantasmic!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Planning and Trip Reports' started by iamsally, Sep 23, 2017.

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  1. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    My view!
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    To start, in July we went to Disneyland and got FP’s for F! We got in line early and were in the 4th row of the seated viewing area. Not bad at all and near the center. It was very well organized with CM’s leading us in and not allowing people to cut in line.

    So, I told Hallie we would do that. We got in line early, were among the first. Then, all Hell broke loose with little attention being paid to the guests. To start with, they herded us into the holding area and then opened a gate behind us to let us in. Thus, allowing those who had gotten in line later to be first.

    They then herded us to the viewing area telling us to fill in all of the available space. We were told we were the first group like that was something special. But as we all were expecting to move further in; we were told no, this is it. We were in a small triangle wedged between a light post and a tree! And were told we would be standing there for over 2 hours. There were a number of people taken aback as were we. The seating area that was there in July was now delegated to another dining package. There is now no decent view of F! if one is unwilling or unable to pay the price.

    Now, some of the people with FP’s who were further back in line actually got up near the fence on the river and had a pretty good spot albeit off to the side. But those of us who got in line early and waited patiently were stuck in this corner packed in so tight we could hardly move.

    There were people behind us with children who I knew could not see a thing.
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    I could not see a thing. So many people got disgruntled and left (including Hallie) that we did end up being able to see (sort of), but our legs were aching and our feet were sore. There was no wiggle room.
    The worst part for me was I did not even care that much about seeing F! I wanted to see the projections for the fireworks on the water screens. We were about to do that in July and the fireworks were cancelled. This time; they started but there was no sound until Walt started speaking.
    All in all very disappointing. I definitely prefer the FP to people sitting on blankets and filling up the area from 4 o’clock on. But I do wish they would think about where they are sending people and avoid cramming folks in behind a tree!
     
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  2. Phrubruh

    Phrubruh Moderator

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    It's pretty much luck of the draw where they put you. I usually go to later shows when it isn't a crowded. Most of the time, I just walk up a few minutes before the show and don't really care where I stand. I've seen it enough times to where it's annoying when I just want to get to Splash Mountain.
     
  3. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I have seen it like a bazzilion times too. I like to walk up at showtime and view it over by Mansion. But after our great experience in July; this was a real slap in the face. And, I put up with it to be in front for the fireworks.
     
  4. Phrubruh

    Phrubruh Moderator

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    Didn't you tell them who you were?
     
  5. WDWdreamin

    WDWdreamin Active Member

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    Sounds awful!
     
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  6. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    It was.
     
  7. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Well-Known Member

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    I got FPs for the second show over Labor Day weekend. Similar to you, we ended up in a spot that was standing room only (though luckily with a much shorter wait, due to the logistics of the 2nd show) and a pretty lousy view with lots of non-FP people sneaking in. I watched the first show the night before from the "standby" area near the raft dock, and I honestly think that was a better view with less hassle, though it is a haul to get all the way over there through the crowds. In general, it just seemed like the logistics of getting to/from the show were more work than the show was worth

    Unfortunately, it seems like this is the trend for the future. Much of WDW's show space has been reserved for FP+ and various dining packages, leaving few spots with bad views for the commoners. Last winter I watched F! there as a standby guest, and we were corralled into a holding area more than an hour before the show, and only let into the amphitheater moments before the actual show began, to fill in the empty spots in the back; most people hadn't made it to their seats when the show began and those seats were so far back that you couldn't even see the water from them. I understand Disney's desire to commoditize show viewing areas, but it really leads to a negative experience for the rest of us
     
  8. Marlin Perkins

    Marlin Perkins Well-Known Member

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    At least you got a shiny picture.
     
  9. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    That was what my husband kept saying. That he felt like we were the peasants looking on as the Royalty enjoyed the show.
     
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  10. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Well-Known Member

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    I think what annoys me most about this configuration is the wasted space. It would be one thing if the reserved areas were completely full, but they all seemed to be at about 80% capacity; considering the show's huge demand, that translates to about 1,000 fewer guests getting to watch each performance, which is a big problem especially considering the increased staffing needs for the various reserved sections. Especially when you consider how unwelcoming the experience is for most guests, the whole approach feels very penny wise, pound foolish.
     
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  11. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    That is definitely one of the things that bugged us. We did a dining package two years ago and we were told to squeeze in and take up all of the available space. This time, as we were standing there watching; people sprawled out and spread blankets. They could easily have fit most of us in there if they had closed ranks, even just a little. Not the sardines in a can like we were.
    I just talked to a friend last night who had a similar experience last week. "Reserved" standing room only!??!
     
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