Generally never. Well, I always consult with my traveling companions before I make WDW-related travel plans, but I certainly have the final word when the only traveler is me.
Nonetheless I found myself somewhat perplexed when attempting to select a resort for the WDW Marathon in January. Of the value resorts, Pop and All-Star Movies were both available. Pop was about $25 more expensive, but I like Pop and feel comfortable there; you could call it my home resort. I've only stayed at an All-Star once, but I wasn't the diametric opposite of a fan of the shared bus system and the location felt even more remote than Pop's for some reason. But then again, $25 is $25 - and isn't it good to try new things?
Given that there were arguments for each, I invited distinguished scientists for all over the world to help me make my decision. Unfortunately, none of them showed up, so I decided to take to Twitter, stumping for commentary and ultimately with a poll. There was a surprising debate with enthusiasts and detractors on each side, but I was resolved to fall with the people's decision. It came out thusly:
Nothing was available. No Pop, no All-Stars. Nothing value at all. Closest thing was a stay at Coronado at almost twice the price. Well damn. How did all value resort rooms sell out overnight? I mean, I know that race weekend is popular, but geez. Losing all options in 24 hours seems a trifle excessive.
I did not panic, though. I thought. I considered my options. I did some experimenting. And I discovered something very interesting.
I found that if I tried to get a value room just for the night before the marathon, I could. And if I tried to get a room for just the night after the marathon, I could. Oh, I thought, they must be different room categories, like pool view or preferred or whatever. I guess I could make two separate reservations.
But upon closer inspection, I found that this was not that case - at the very least a standard pool view room could be had on both nights at Pop. Then - this was the kicker - I tried to get a room for a full week encompassing my dates. No problem, totally doable.
I concluded that the rooms existed in the reservation system; it was only that the website refused to let me access them.
Naturally I called up the WDW reservations phone line, and a lovely CM helped me grab the same room at Pop over the course of two nights and with an AP discount to boot.
I find this odd. Why would the WDW site have such a disapproving opinion of two-night stays? You could argue that they're trying to discourage shorter trips, but then why let me have a single night? Is it simply that something's wrong with the programming? Am I personally obnoxious and disliked?** Or is there a higher purpose here?
We may never know. But I now know this: if you can't get the dates you want at the resort you want, don't revert to plan B immediately. Poke around. See what you can find. And always try a phone reservation for the final word.
The door is still open for suggestions about where to stay in April for the Dark Side Half, so feel free to chime in.
|This post is brought to you by musicals about the American Revolution.|
** For God's sake, Jenn, SIT DOWN.
Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!