Changes to Fantasmic Dining?


#1

I just booked the Fantasmic Dinner package at H&V for our Aug. trip. We wanted MM, so I was a little disappointed already, but then today I read this in the All Ears newsletter:

… from Melissa: I cannot tell you how disappointed I am with Disney and how they are handling Fantasmic Dining Packages. We just visited the first week of May and booked the Fantasmic Dining Package. We went to dinner and received our reservation “ticket.” We arrived 60 minutes prior to the 8:30 show time, which is what was recommended by our server and what was printed on our ticket. We arrived only to find out there is no more separate entrance for the dining package. So we had to head over to the main gate and try and get through the mob that had congregated there. By the time I made it to the front they had already filled the stadium and told me they had filled the reserved section with people who didn’t have the reserved seat tickets to begin with and that we could not see the show! What is the point of a “reserved seat” if they are just going to fill it with anyone to begin with – and an hour before the show even starts on top of that? Please be aware that your seat WILL NOT be held for you and you should line up 1-1/2 hours prior to show time JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE has to! It’s not worth it – go see Wishes or IllumiNations instead! What a waste of evening at the Studios.

Can anyone confirm these changes? I thought the whole point of doing the package was to avoid getting there so early? When we’ve done the package in the past, we’ve sometimes arrived only 15-20 min. before the show and still got great seats in the reserved section. If this is an accurate portrayal of what’s going on now, I may cancel it altogether.:crying:


#2

I read this in my AllEars newsletter last night too.

I toyed with the idea of a Fantasmic Dining package and decided I didn’t want to spend one of my credits eating somewhere I didn’t really want to just for the show. When posting about the package, some did reply saying although they had to wait they oftentimes got better seating than the reserved. So, I’ll try my luck!


#3

Hmmmmm, it is TRUE that you no longer go back stage to get to the seats!

BUT . . . when we did this in December, there was an area roped off for “reserved seating” The CM sent us up a roped row to the top, past all the waiting folks (Kinda like Fastpass)

When we got to the top, we had to check in with ANOTHER CM and show him our vouchers. He tore the corner and then pointed us to the reserved seating area. (which is to the right of the stage)

And ANOTHER CM then checked we had tickets for the area . . . sooooo unless this person missed the first designated area, I don’t see WHY she had to wait in the line? OR Why they would give away the reserved seating?? :confused:

I hope they haven’t messed this system up . . . it was the only way to see Fantasmic IMHO! And the CMs are so “Guard these vouchers with your life!” when they give them to you. :laugh::laugh:


#4

[QUOTE=DereksMom713;963148]I read this in my AllEars newsletter last night too.

I toyed with the idea of a Fantasmic Dining package and decided I didn’t want to spend one of my credits eating somewhere I didn’t really want to just for the show. When posting about the package, some did reply saying although they had to wait they oftentimes got better seating than the reserved. So, I’ll try my luck![/QUOTE]

With my 3 kids, sitting for an hour or more waiting for a show to start is NOT an option. Somebody would inevitably be crying by the time the show started!:laugh: If we don’t do the dinner package, then we just skip the show. All of my other ADR’s for the week are excellent, so I’m willing to eat one mediocre meal IF we are sure to get the seating privilidges.


#5

[QUOTE=mickeysgirlz;963155]Hmmmmm, it is TRUE that you no longer go back stage to get to the seats!

BUT . . . when we did this in December, there was an area roped off for “reserved seating” The CM sent us up a roped row to the top, past all the waiting folks (Kinda like Fastpass)

When we got to the top, we had to check in with ANOTHER CM and show him our vouchers. He tore the corner and then pointed us to the reserved seating area. (which is to the right of the stage)

And ANOTHER CM then checked we had tickets for the area . . . sooooo unless this person missed the first designated area, I don’t see WHY she had to wait in the line? OR Why they would give away the reserved seating?? :confused:

I hope they haven’t messed this system up . . . it was the only way to see Fantasmic IMHO! And the CMs are so “Guard these vouchers with your life!” when they give them to you. :laugh::laugh:[/QUOTE]

I agree that, for us, it’s the only way to see the show. Thanks for sharing your experience. Maybe something just went wrong the night that writer was there. I think that if I had that ticket in my possession I would have demanded that they find me some seats! I’m not eating a mediocre meal at WDW for nothing!:laugh:


#6

I seem to remember a TR (maybe on disboards) that this same thing happened. They went to customer service to complain and they weren’t the only ones without seats.


#7

We’ve never done the Fantasmic dinner package. We’ve always just stood and waited with the masses. We were considering trying to book it for our upcoming trip, but we were weighing it against other things that we would need to pay out of pocket for. This may make my decision for me. I hope other MBers can give some more positive feedback.


#8

I’ve also seen reports of FDP voucher holders getting to the amphitheater only to find that “reserved seating” was full. There are not enough CMs in the theater to keep those without vouchers from filling in that section from the bottom. It makes the FDP not worth it anymore. We have done the FDP twice…the first time with absolutely no problem (they still had the separate entrance open) and the second time we were rained out right when the show was to begin (torrential downpour that lasted forever.)
I would probably just take my chances next time.
I really think that this show should be on at least 5 or 6 nights a week (better yet, every night) because it is obviously a big draw.


#9

Don’t get me started!
This is just so wrong on so many different levels, starting with doing away with the exclusive entrance.
Maybe once the economy improves, they’ll go back to performing Fantasmic every night as well. From what I’ve seen, there are still 3,000 people on any given night who want to see Fantasmic, so there almost doesn’t seem to be a valid excuse for not performing every night, especially considering that during April, most nights there were two performances.


#10

[QUOTE=Soundgod;963481]Don’t get me started!
This is just so wrong on so many different levels, starting with doing away with the exclusive entrance.
Maybe once the economy improves, they’ll go back to performing Fantasmic every night as well. From what I’ve seen, there are still 3,000 people on any given night who want to see Fantasmic, so there almost doesn’t seem to be a valid excuse for not performing every night, especially considering that during April, most nights there were two performances.[/QUOTE]

This all has me a little concerned. We haven’t been there since they got rid of the separate entrance. I’m really beginning to think our dinner package probably isn’t worth it, but now it’s probably too late to get a good ADR anywhere else. I may have to call and check, though. I’m glad we’ve done Fantasmic on every other trip. As much as I always enjoy it, this may be a good year to skip the show.:crying:


#11

IMHO Hollywood and Vine is still one of the better places to eat in HS. It’s a buffet with lots to choose from. I don’t think it’s worth giving up your tickets. I’d say you have at least a 50/50 chance of it all going smoothly, and that’s better then NONE if you give up the tickets.

I’ve been there when the line for Fantasmic is really really long and I would NEVER stand in that. Worst case, grab a CM and ask them to “HELP” you. I’m sure one of them would gladly direct you or take you exactly where you need to be.


#12

[QUOTE=mickeysgirlz;963577]IMHO Hollywood and Vine is still one of the better places to eat in HS. It’s a buffet with lots to choose from. I don’t think it’s worth giving up your tickets. I’d say you have at least a 50/50 chance of it all going smoothly, and that’s better then NONE if you give up the tickets.

I’ve been there when the line for Fantasmic is really really long and I would NEVER stand in that. Worst case, grab a CM and ask them to “HELP” you. I’m sure one of them would gladly direct you or take you exactly where you need to be.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the advice. I guess at this point I’m going to keep it and hope for the best. I don’t mind H&V, but we’ve eaten there the past 2 trips in order to do the Fantasmic package, so DH really wanted to try something else. I thought the food was fine, but the atmosphere felt somewhat like a cafeteria. I thought the kids might enjoy 50’s PT or SciFi, but maybe next time. We’ll just stick with H&V and see what happens with our Fantasmic ticket!


#13

Keep calling back . . . once you have the PKG, if a spot open in MM they will let you switch. I tried at Xmas time, but it never happened for me. :frown:


#14

This is really disturbing. I hadn’t heard about Disney getting rid of the separate entrance. What a bummer. Off to research this more.


#15

What a bummer for you, that must have really made you mad! I would have been ticked if I wasted a night in HS, a night that was plannned ahead with ADRS/show reservations. I would def write a letter…or something.


#16

Such a bummer that they got rid of the exclusive entrance. :glare: I would just keep your reservation as is & hope for the best. Good luck!


#17

I have actually shown up almost at showtime and wound up getting fairly good seats for just myself or the wife and me(assuming it wasn’t sold out or standing room only) in the center.
This happened because people always leave way more room than they need or hold seats for people that never show and I looked for the openings and when I saw them, I asked and lucked out. This works about 10-15 minutes before the show.
And this worked in September during free dining when there was only one show that night! Naturally, this plan of attack works better when you’re solo or a duo than a family of 5, but it can be an option.
As for the reserved section, in my case, after watching and taping from that area twice, I really needed to sit in the other parts of the theater so that I could get different camera angles and focus on different parts of the action.

I’m just still surprised that they don’t seem to be able to control non-reserved seat guests better and keep them in general admission sections and leave the reserved section for guests who did dining packages or have reserved seats because they are on all inclusive vacation packages which include reserved seating for shows.