In this installment of Travel Tuesday Tales, I am providing an update into my vacation planning for our next Disney trip for New Years. If you want to know how the planning has gone so far, you can read about our initial plans, where we’re staying, as well as see where we’ll be eating and my experiences with making all my ADRs.
So last Thursday was the first day that Candlelight Processional dinner packages were available to book, and since this was the last major item that I needed to reserve for now (until we do flights), I had the date noted in my planner to make sure I didn’t miss it. The thing is, I felt like Disney was late this year in opening up these packages: while it’s been 3 years since we went during the Holidays, I know that in the years that we have gone at that time of year, I was making these reservations a LOT earlier….like June/July earlier.
Not sure why Disney was procrastinating here, but I was starting to get a bit peeved. I get cranky like that when something interferes with my planning timeline.
In any event, over the past week, I had begun scouring Disney blogs, websites and message boards, trying to find out SOME KIND of information about the packages this year. We’re going to be on the basic Disney Dining Plan, so I already knew that it was probably going to cost 2 table service credits like last year apparently did. But I did want to know pricing, in case we decided to pay out of pocket and use those credits for another meal.
More importantly though, I needed to know what restaurants were going to be included, as my family had requested to eat at the new Hacienda de San Angel on this trip, and if we were able to do this, it would be our first night, the night we did Candlelight Processional. But would it be available for the package? That was the question….
Reading Chip and Co. and the Disney Food Blog, I knew that they were taking reservations for after Oct 15, but could not find out anywhere if this meant Hacienda was part of the CP dinner package or not.
And I have to say, the closer it got to August 26, the more annoyed I was getting. There was no information to be found about this anywhere. Not wanting to waste valuable time on Thursday morning by asking lots of questions (you can lose a reservation during peak times like this if you do!), I decided to just go straight to the source.
Wednesday evening, I called Disney Dining to ask.
And would you believe, it took the poor castmember almost 10 minutes to find out the answer? Finally, she was back: no Hacienda de San Angel was not part of the CP dinner package this year, nor was Via Napoli either.
OK, thanks, at least now I knew. Thursday morning, 7 a.m. I was requesting San Angel Inn for the package (our second choice).
So Thursday morning, I did my usual early morning walk, checked email and Facebook, and at 6:55 a.m. I was ready, at the phone, with pen, paper, and credit card in hand, waiting to get this done so I could then get ready for work.
At 6:57 I began dialing…and received the “office is not yet open” recording. Continued to power-redial (I have done this before and AM a “professional” ) and at precisely 7 a.m. ET I got the “Thank you for calling Disney Dining, how may we help you today?”. Great! You can help me by getting me this reservation, so I can go shower and get ready to leave for work, thanks.
(You used to just “press 1 for this, press 2 for that”. Now you have to verbally tell them what you need, and hope the automated whatever on the other end understands what you need so you don’t waste valuable time getting sent to someone else…..But I digress….)
I announced as slowly and clearly as I could to the automated whatever, that I needed “Dining Reservations for Candlelight Processional” and then of course was put on hold to the kind-of-annoying-at-7 a.m. music of Haunted Mansion. Before I knew it, a recorded voice thanked me for holding, told me someone would be with me as soon as possible, and then informed me that “due to unexpectedly high call volume, your estimated wait time is at least………30 minutes.”…… WHOA!
Ummmm Dear Disney Dining:
- First, I do not have 30 minutes to wait, I have like a job that I have to go to, so we can pay to visit you.
- Second, I am trying to reserve this package for the last night of the Candlelight Processional, and during the busiest week of the year. I am worried that by the time you get to me, the dinner packages for that night will be gone. (Yes, I worry about these things. I clearly need a life.).
- Third, if you had only publicized the details of the Candlelight Processional package before TODAY, people might have actually known all of the details before calling….and could have had quicker calls, resulting in everyone having a shorter wait time.
Yikes. Well, I was clearly not going to hop in the shower while I waited. My luck, it would have been like a 5 minute wait. So I tried to do as many other things as I could while on hold, and wondered if my co-workers would REALLY mind if I just went to work without showering….
Happily for my co-workers, at 7:35 a charming and God-bless-her extremely cheerful castmember came on the line to ask me what she could do for me.
The charming castmember of course understood this completely, asked how many it was for, and within 2 minutes we were done, and I had my confirmation number.
See Disney how nice that works when folks know before hand what they want?
All kidding aside, I am clearly a huge Disney fan as you know by now, and I do really feel like this was just very uncharacteristically unorganized of them. So I jest now….and am just happy that I got what we wanted. My family is happy too.
So, we’re all set for dining now (unless someone changes their mind). Next on the planning agenda? Making those flight reservations some time in September.
I’ll keep ya posted!
- Travel Tuesday Tales: What Do You Mean There Are No ADRs Available?
- Travel Tuesday Tales: The Fine Art of Negotiating Disney World ADRs
- Travel Tuesday Tales: T-Minus 36 Days and Counting…
- Travel Tuesday Tales: A Disney Vacation Prologue
- Travel Tuesday Tales: Our Disney Vacation Accommodation Situation