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Thread: Fantasmic Dessert Preferred Seating

  1. #1

    Fantasmic Dessert Preferred Seating

    Why is the assigned seating for this event still so screwed up? We attended last night. We had called Guest Services and paid for reserved seats and the dessert box. We picked the tickets up from Guest Services (which had its own problems, they accidentally processed one of our four tickets while the printer was down and couldn't reprint it at first, mistakes happen).

    I knew from past experience that one of our party needed to have the tickets in hand and go wait by the churro cart near the Haunted Mansion/waterfront around 6PM. There was a cast member at a podium who would walk down the line and check and recheck our tickets and tell us that the seating assignments would take place at 8PM. I took the third place in line while my family rode rides. I remained there, standing, another 2 hours while the line formed behind me. There was NO roped off queue and the line started to interfere with the churro cart line.

    The churro cart cast member told us that we were in the way and needed to go. The Fantasmic seating cast member argued with him. Meanwhile the line grew longer and really had nowhere to go, while the Fantasmic seating area was roped off. The adjoining walkway was packed with people and some people were trying to wait in our line for churros. Intermittently the line needed to be broken to allow carts of food into the Fantasmic seating area, causing great anxiety for those further in line who had to move and reassemble their formation.

    Finally around 7:50PM, the Fantasmic seating cast member brought the line into the Fantasmic seating area and quickly assigned seats. We were told to exit and not return until 8:30PM. Meanwhile the entire New Orleans/Rivers of America area was PACKED due to the Haunted Mansion ride being so popular. At 8:20PM we begged to be allowed to sit in our seats due to the congestion being so scary and we were finally allowed to sit.

    Why not just sell the Fantasmic tickets and assign seats at the same time, eliminating the double line? You can't have a ticket in the first place without prepaying for it. Why not cordon off the area and allow paid ticket holders to enter at 8:20PM? It was another one of those Disneyland situations where I felt stupid for waiting in line and then felt like I was in the way even though I was doing what the cast members said to do.


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    Personally, I don't understand why it's a TRIPLE line - because you also had to wait at Guest Services. I just don't understand why the CMs who assign you your seats can't have a list and require ID to get your tickets and seat assignments.

    When we went, we actually wanted nearest the center possible, in the back row - because we figured if we were tired of sitting, we'd be able to stand and not block others - and I can just imagine the mess that the reservation system could make of that sort of thing. Also, I don't believe they always decide to have both sections open until they get close to selling out the first, and some families would prefer the front row in the further off-center section, vs the back row in the more center section, so that could be a problem as well.

    (My sister and I just did a couple of special events in WDW. We gave them our names, they checked off our names on the list, one we got wrist bands for the second part, and everything was done. But neither of those had assigned seating - it was just seat where you wish when the venue opened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiserkisor View Post
    Why not just sell the Fantasmic tickets and assign seats at the same time, eliminating the double line? You can't have a ticket in the first place without prepaying for it.
    I am SO with you on this one!! The first time we did this, it was a piece of cake -- but it was early February and rainy and not crowded.

    The second (and last) time we did this, it was a nightmare. They put us in line for check-in where the podium would be (we were first in line), then decided to start another line somewhere else because of the crowds. Unfortunately, they didn't tell those of us who were already waiting where we had been instructed to wait. When the CM who started the second line realized it -- at least half an hour later -- they sent us to the end of the other line, and tried to tell us we were never in line in the first place.

    I can see where it might be hard to pick seats over the phone, but they could put the seating chart online and refer guests there. Regardless, I do agree that there has got to be a more efficient, less frustrating way to handle this.
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    Well, couldn't they give you a pass or something at the podium that they could scan ( or stamp) with the time you checked in, and then you can go off and play for awhile, and then, have people come back at specified times, depending on when you come? Like a fastpass, with the return time, but it would eliminate the line.

    Ive never been to fantasmic, but it seems like the seating is out of control.

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    We did this on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend this year. F! had been dark for months, people started camping out on the riverfront early in the afternoon. I was SO glad we had our special seats, even if we had to wait for them. We were first in line at 6:45. I'll admit, there was really no good direction for the line to go. I thought they should've sent it down the stairs towards the river, but it invaded churro space instead.

    I think for those who had been before you'd be able to pick seats over the phone, but for us doing it the first time it was good to see it in person.

    If you think the line is bad, try doing it years ago when the tickets went on sale morning-of and you had to be there at the crack of dawn to get them. And there weren't seat assignments then either.

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    Now I'm nervous. As long as they don't start a second line somewhere after I get there, then I'm hoping to be one of the first in line so I don't have to worry about where the line ends up going.

    Perpetually planning for the next trip...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich78 View Post
    Now I'm nervous. As long as they don't start a second line somewhere after I get there, then I'm hoping to be one of the first in line so I don't have to worry about where the line ends up going.
    It wasn't a problem for us to find the CM. He/she will be rather dressed up (for a CM) and with a small podium near the churro cart. In May they were wearing dark green vests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by underthesea1987 View Post
    Ive never been to fantasmic, but it seems like the seating is out of control.
    I think MOST of the time, it's handled well. The night of our bad experience, there was an event going on, and the Fantasmic buffet people, who are renowned for their excellent service, sort of had control of their area wrested away.

    In any case, I think the main issue with the check-in is that people are arriving earlier and earlier to get the best seats, and there isn't space for the resulting line. Hmmm...maybe they should move the churro cart?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkermommy View Post
    Hmmm...maybe they should move the churro cart?
    Can you do that? MOVE a cart?!?!?!!!
    Cathy

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    Disney usually epitomizes crowd control, but not with this "premium" event. I completely agree that the double/triple line waiting is unacceptable. Even if this was something free that you had to line up to get I would say that, but for the prices they charge for this dessert package you should have total red carpet, white glove service!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drince88 View Post
    Can you do that? MOVE a cart?!?!?!!!
    Don't some of them have pluming hook-ups? That might be more difficult than it sounds.
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  13. #12
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    Actually a little planning would go a long way here...the podium is right at the edge of the seating area but it's right at the steps that go down to the lower area, if they moved the check in podium across to the far side of the seating area, then the line would could just wrap around the Rivers of America. Another option would be to put it at the bottom of the steps that are 'right there' where the check in is currently and the line could extend along the walk way next to the retaining wall where the reserved area is. Even a rope queue with a break in it at the cart/steps would be better than how it is now.

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    It'd sure be a lot easier to move the podium than the churro cart. I was empressed that the CM had enough balance to lean on the podium without tipping it over! They really should use the stairs/dock area. It stayed completely empty the entire time we were in line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MammaSilva View Post
    Another option would be to put it at the bottom of the steps that are 'right there' where the check in is currently and the line could extend along the walk way next to the retaining wall where the reserved area is. Even a rope queue with a break in it at the cart/steps would be better than how it is now.
    Problem with the bottom of the stairs is for WC/ECV users. That area gets very congested. What I have done a couple of times when I have been the first in line was start the line DOWN the stairs, and it wraps around down there. The CM was very happy and commented she wished she had a way to get them to do it every night. But again, difficult for WC/ECVs to go down there and come back up, since you go down to the Harbor Galley to come back up the top side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Problem with the bottom of the stairs is for WC/ECV users. That area gets very congested. What I have done a couple of times when I have been the first in line was start the line DOWN the stairs, and it wraps around down there. The CM was very happy and commented she wished she had a way to get them to do it every night. But again, difficult for WC/ECVs to go down there and come back up, since you go down to the Harbor Galley to come back up the top side.
    I'll have to remember that. It can't hurt to make the CM's job easier either!
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  17. #16
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    We had a different experience on Saturday Oct 16th. We got there at 6:45 (for the 8pm check-in) and there was only about 5 people in front of us. We were lined up from the podium to the walkway, parallel to the churro cart. After just a few minutes, they opened up the rope next to the podium, and brought us all into the actual viewing area, and had us line up next to the railing. The chairs hadn't been put down yet.

    Then they brought the podium into the area also, and put it at the head of the line.

    A CM returned to the spot where the original location of the podium was, and put the rope back up. As other people arrived to check-in, she'd let them inside also.

    This worked great - we were out of the walkway, and out of the way of the churro cart, and we could even lean against the railing.

    My only complaint is why we have to do that at all? I still don't understand why they can't assign seats as we make the reservations. Even if they aren't sure how many they will sell, you'd think they could number the reservations in order and have the seats assigned that way. Oh well, at least waiting an hour or an hour and 15 minutes is better than waiting for a several hours! Plus you get the yummy dessert tray!


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    Quote Originally Posted by emgm View Post
    We had a different experience on Saturday Oct 16th. We got there at 6:45 (for the 8pm check-in) and there was only about 5 people in front of us. We were lined up from the podium to the walkway, parallel to the churro cart. After just a few minutes, they opened up the rope next to the podium, and brought us all into the actual viewing area, and had us line up next to the railing. The chairs hadn't been put down yet.

    Then they brought the podium into the area also, and put it at the head of the line.

    A CM returned to the spot where the original location of the podium was, and put the rope back up. As other people arrived to check-in, she'd let them inside also.

    This worked great - we were out of the walkway, and out of the way of the churro cart, and we could even lean against the railing.

    My only complaint is why we have to do that at all? I still don't understand why they can't assign seats as we make the reservations. Even if they aren't sure how many they will sell, you'd think they could number the reservations in order and have the seats assigned that way. Oh well, at least waiting an hour or an hour and 15 minutes is better than waiting for a several hours! Plus you get the yummy dessert tray!
    Wish I had seen you! We got there abut 8:15 and they let us in almost immediately (not having to wait ). They seated us at the far end of the seating area and I was able to stay in my scooter. I loved the lemon tart! I was not able to even eat most of it. My friend packed it for me to take it home the next day. I never got my cookies and the chocolate thingie from her! Grrrr! I will cal her today and ask her what happened to it. I still have my Apple Pie apple I bought on Sunday! Yummy!
    Siggy aka Jill

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    Siggy, I looked for you, but didn't recognize you without your nun costume!

    The desserts are excellent, but we could hardly eat half that night. We brought the leftovers back to our hotel room and snacked on it later Saturday, and Sunday, and finished it off Monday morning. It's a lot of food!


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    Quote Originally Posted by emgm View Post
    Siggy, I looked for you, but didn't recognize you without your nun costume!

    The desserts are excellent, but we could hardly eat half that night. We brought the leftovers back to our hotel room and snacked on it later Saturday, and Sunday, and finished it off Monday morning. It's a lot of food!
    Well, there is always next year! And if you are ever in Sacramento or near by, PM me!
    Siggy aka Jill

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