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What I liked and Disliked this year from SWW 2008

#1 User is offline   Pipper011 

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 04:34 PM

Things that I liked where:
1. People that I met when I was in line for the autographs and Kim who is from this site.
2. New Disney and Star Wars characters.
3. Liked what Disney did with Ebay sellers with the Big Figs which where available online.
4. Hoopla was great and you could meet alot of characters without a long wait.
Things I didn't Like:
1. Disney letting people sleep over night to get autographs. And it was the same people over and over again. You don't know how many times I heard parents saying their child wanted to meet a celeb but the lines where to big or fast passes where out. Disney must fix this problem next year.
2. No beanies this year. Why!! In my book Disney has slowed down big time in Imagination!!
3. No Star Wars atmosphere!! Every year I've gone it has felt like if I was in a galaxy far far away except for this year. It didn't have that feeling. Everything was so spread out that it took away from the festivities.
4. When I saw the merchandise photos and saw the Darth Donald and Darth Goofy I said to myself thats going to be the shirt that is going to sell big time. And what does disney do they don't order enough shirts and thats why they ran out of them. Unexcusable.
5. No new activites added to the event and still no adult trivia.
All in all I got what I expected this year. I didn't buy the surprises that where being put out on the net. And Dark Lord if this keeps going Starwars Weekends will become like the Dinosaurs EXTINCT!!
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#2 User is offline   kimdben 

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 05:16 PM

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1. Disney letting people sleep over night to get autographs.


My number one pet peeve and has been for a couple of years now.

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2. No beanies this year.


This surprised me. I guess they couldn't figure out what to do this time. Darth Donald would have been nice.

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4. When I saw the merchandise photos and saw the Darth Donald and Darth Goofy I said to myself that's going to be the shirt that is going to sell big time.


I got this shirt first weekend. I saw some Saturday, but I don't know what sizes.
My Problem was the pink Minnie/Chewie shirt "I'd just as soon kiss a wookie". The 2X was so small I had to return it. My mom was wearing it Saturday, but is going to add some material to it in order to make it comfortable.

I also agree everything was too spread out. Unfortunately, I don't see them changing that next year. The same with the autograph lines. I had written them about the lines and they ignored it and still allowed it to happen.
Kim
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#3 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:14 AM

I understand your point about it being too spread out, but the fact is I prefer it this way so there isn't a sea of people to try to navigate through. I really felt like I was never stuck in a huge mass of people as I have in past years.
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#4 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:18 PM

"Things I didn't Like:1. Disney letting people sleep over night to get autographs. And it was the same people over and over again. You don't know how many times I heard parents saying their child wanted to meet a celeb but the lines where to big or fast passes where out. Disney must fix this problem next year."
Agreed. But this problem has lasted just about every year.

"2. No beanies this year. Why!! In my book Disney has slowed down big time in Imagination!!"
I disagree with it being about imagination. Disney always has new ideas. I think it is because there was a lack of sells on the Beanies Last year because it was a $30 Dollar set of Two.

"3. No Star Wars atmosphere!! Every year I've gone it has felt like if I was in a galaxy far far away except for this year. It didn't have that feeling. Everything was so spread out that it took away from the festivities."
I Disagree With That Again lol. Everything was actually closer together than ever this year except Wicket's Warehouse. If you just kept to the left of the park it is Star Warsy from Echo Lake all the way to LMA. But it did kinda lose a bit of the total effect this year not being able to have the Bad guys on Former Mickey Avenue.

"4. When I saw the merchandise photos and saw the Darth Donald and Darth Goofy I said to myself thats going to be the shirt that is going to sell big time. And what does disney do they don't order enough shirts and thats why they ran out of them. Unexcusable."
Something Always Sells Out in the first few weekends, because Merchandise Kath Hounds go to the First Weekend and spend $100s to $1000s Of dollars on it

"5. No new activites added to the event and still no adult trivia."
Agreed. That needs to be addressed. I think a Sith Training Academey would be a fun new thing lol

"All in all I got what I expected this year. I didn't buy the surprises that where being put out on the net. And Dark Lord if this keeps going Starwars Weekends will become like the Dinosaurs EXTINCT!!"
Well, They have pulled out a big surprise, Steve Sansweet Came, and the Behind the Force Show had actual live people who knew about the stuff, both unnanouced happenings until the weekends. ANd there is one more weekend to pull out a bigger surprise which i think they will. SWW isn't dead yet my friend, and even if it does it will come back as a Jedi Ghost... Ooh lol
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#5 User is offline   ksomm814 

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:28 PM

I think the thing that bothered me most this year was the not knowing. I'm an intense planner so having so much changed and unknown was really difficult to handle.

Also, (and I know we can't blame Disney for this unless we want to place the blame on moving SWW from mid-May to a June only event) the heat of weekend 1 was a force to be reckoned with. It came to the point that we were forced to leave early and miss out on the hoopla. (If anyone has good pictures, please let me know)

On the plus side, even though SWW was being handled by new people and some of their ideas left little to be desired, they did listen to the concerns and complaints of the crowd. Disney is trying to make SWW better. They're just hitting a few bumps on the way.

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#6 User is offline   General Specific 

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:52 PM

Pipper011 said:

Things I didn't Like:
1. Disney letting people sleep over night to get autographs. And it was the same people over and over again. You don't know how many times I heard parents saying their child wanted to meet a celeb but the lines where to big or fast passes were out. Disney must fix this problem next year.


I'm sorry to disagree with you but I believe that the system is perfectly acceptable the way it is. I do admit that those who are unaware of what the line is like and do not show up early pretty much get shafted if they want an autograph. However, don't let yourself believe that just because you don't have a ticket you can't get an autograph. Walk-ups DO happen. Just make sure you inform the cast member standing at the last autograph session aware that you would like to try to get a walk-up in and they will show you to a small queue if it has formed at that point.

Also, there is very little that Disney can do to stop the people who really want the passes from waiting. If they prohibit anyone from entering the parking lot until a certain time, people would just park their cars somewhere on Disney property and wait until then. Not to mention the absolute mayhem of every single person who would have been there earlier arriving at say, 7:00.

I believe that Disney does take the people who do not wish to arrive extremely early into consideration by not distributing the passes until 9:00 so that people arriving at 9:00 can easily get a pass for the 2 celebrities that are less popular than the main one for that weekend, by having the "1 person gives 1 ticket to get 1 pass" rule to make sure that parties are not waiting in multiple lines and transferring tickets, and by ensuring that nobody will go home completely empty handed by handing out the "photoshopped" pictures to anyone who walks by.
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#7 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:57 PM

Welcome to Studios Central General Specific!
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#8 User is offline   joedom 

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:25 PM

Nice lists and good idea for a thread. Here are my own lists fresh after our 2008 visit to SWW Weekend #3...

Note: The last time I went to SWW was in 2005. That was an extra special year because it was right around the release of Revenge of the Sith. Disney also added extra weekends that year because of the huge interest.

Things I Liked

1. Wickets Warehouse - awesome idea. Nice layout, lots of room to maneuver, great idea to have the picture back drops. This is much better than the old days of cramming people into Tatooine Traders.
2. New mini-sets for the character photos/autographs. These mini-sets, like the Tantive IV, are extremely realistic. Nice touch with the signage next to each one explaining what they are and where they're found in the movies.
3. Having things spread out makes it easier to get around. Although it did add a nice air to the festivities having them packed in (like a Con), I think it's more practical to spread them out.
4. Love the new and improved Jedi Training Academy. It's more polished, refined, and organized.
5. Hoopla (don't like the name) is still a lot of fun.
6. Merchandise - I, too, miss the beanies but think the overall quality and quantity of the merchandise has improved significantly.
7. Loved the Disney website tie-in with the Jedi/Sith quiz.

Things I Didn't Like

1. Process to get an autograph - I waited in line forever in 2005 to get Peter Mayhew's autograph (and got it). I vowed to never do that again, and, didn't this year. Many of these stars will sell you an autograph online from their websites. They also visit Sci-Fi Cons around the country (we're blessed to have Dragon*Con here in Atlanta). More power to you autograph seekers, but for the money I'm paying to be there I'd rather do other things at the park.
2. Was it just me or did the parade seem kind of plain? It'd be cool to have some SW themed floats other than the first one leading the parade. The parade hasn't changed much since I last saw it in 2005.
3. Fewer costumed characters. I don't know if it was just that everything was more spread out, but I could've sworn there were more SW characters roaming around in 2005 than there were this year.
4. Fewer costumed guests. Perhaps the date change from Mid-May to all-June caused people to make more prudent clothing choices. As one other poster noted, the Mustafar heat is something to be reckoned with. SWW is more fun when guests get in the act, too.
5. The main SW stage needs shade - bad. The poor padawans, characters, and spectators were melting in that heat. Surely a large semi-permanent canopy could be put into place.
6. Lack of online SWW information on the Disney website. They desperately need more social networking features (of course this site fulfills that role to a certain degree). They also need to make the SWW flyer available as a .PDF and get the information out earlier.

Our family are HUGE fans of both Star Wars and Disney. Despite that fact, we'll probably take a break from SWW and go back to Disney during another time of the year.
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#9 User is offline   kimdben 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:32 AM

Quote

1. Process to get an autograph - I waited in line forever in 2005 to get Peter Mayhew's autograph (and got it). I vowed to never do that again, and, didn't this year. Many of these stars will sell you an autograph online from their websites. They also visit Sci-Fi Cons around the country (we're blessed to have Dragon*Con here in Atlanta). More power to you autograph seekers, but for the money I'm paying to be there I'd rather do other things at the park.


Cons are nice for just getting pics of the celebrities, but the prices for the autographs and then also having to pay for the pictures they autograph are outrageous. I've been to a couple and I have no intention of paying $20 or more for an autograph. You also have to pay for the celebrity to pose for a picture with you, by the time you are done, you've paid somewhere near $100 or more. No Way!!!! I don't have that kind of money to waste.

The other problem here is that the lines have gotten longer since they moved the Weekends to June. There are tons more people standing in line and it just keeps getting bigger every year. There shouldn't be 200 people in line inside the park at 7AM (even if they don't get their passes until 9AM) (and NO I don't mean outside the gates--I mean INSIDE the park). Several times this year the lines were so huge the CMs let the line in early and it seemed to everyone else like there was no line if they showed up after 8AM.

Quote

2. Was it just me or did the parade seem kind of plain? It'd be cool to have some SW themed floats other than the first one leading the parade. The parade hasn't changed much since I last saw it in 2005.


The parade has been about the same for years, and it is kinda plain. The float was interesting and new.

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3. Fewer costumed characters.


They were there, you just had to look for them. They were way spread out all over the park.

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5. The main SW stage needs shade - bad.


I highly doubt this will happen. The stage is permanent now and the ATT above it on regular days spits out water for the kids to play in.
Kim
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#10 User is offline   COH#1fan 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:03 AM

kimdben said:

Cons are nice for just getting pics of the celebrities, but the prices for the autographs and then also having to pay for the pictures they autograph are outrageous. I've been to a couple and I have no intention of paying $20 or more for an autograph. You also have to pay for the celebrity to pose for a picture with you, by the time you are done, you've paid somewhere near $100 or more. No Way!!!! I don't have that kind of money to waste.


OT: One time, while at a local con, I managed to get Adam West's autograph for less than what they were asking. Either they felt sorry, or they just wanted whatever money they could get out of me. Since I know humans in that kind of situation lack empathy, I'm betting it was the latter.
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#11 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:20 AM

Good list and topic. I've been stewing over some of this for a while now. While I'm sure there will be something special for this weekend, I doubt it will be as big as some people have hoped. I look for something more on the coming Clone Wars movie.

The list of things you liked I agree with Pipper and I agree with you on many of your dislikes as well, only maybe not as strongly.

On one hand, I too believe that the characters were too spread out. In general they needed to have a more detailed map to help with this problem so that people knew where to go. The Cast Members helped a lot with this, but with the construction congestion of Pixar Place taking up a lot of space that had been dedicated to SWW the options were possibly limited.

On the other hand I agree with Matt in the sense that it did loosen the arteries in some areas of the park where there used to be major congestion. The smoking area near Tattoine Traders comes to mind here, where the Chewbacca & Ewok line was across from the Jedi meet and greet area. That section was impossible to navigate the last few years. But as nice as that was, it was frustrating not having the characters in a more general area. Speading it out made it seem as though there were fewer characters to meet and fewer still mingling around the park. That wasn't necessarily the case, they just were covering different areas and more ground. That said, where was the Emperor and his Imperial Guards?

Autograph lines: I'm on the fence with this one. I'm not really convinced there is a way to win here. Disney corrected a major flaw in 2006 by designating the lines rather than allowing the mass chaos of the "LINE DROP AND RUN" of previous years. As already pointed out, you can keep them for lining up there, but they will line up at the next holding spot.

No Beenies: "I'm right there with you boss" -Wedge '77 I don't think it is an imagination issue. I just think they need to be smarter about what they are doing. Also, Lucas can be difficult about allowing certain charactures to be made. A Storm Trooper Donald would have been cool this year though!

Atmosphere: I think it was a SW atmosphere, but like you said it was too spread out. In the past it was concentrated into two destinct areas. This year, there was a big learning curve for any of us who have been there in the past. I still think this is mostly because of losing Mickey Ave, and hope they can sit down and improve on this next year. (Some people never even noticed the Jedi Meet and Greet was over by the Indiana Jones Trading Post, right before the Stunt Show Enterance.)

Shirts: One run or another seems to run out each year. Too many and they are stuck with them, too few and we are irritated. They may end up with a bunch of the Storm Trooper Shirst left over. MY COMPLAINT is that the Sizes were all screwed up. I got an EX LARGE, which I've purchased in the past, brought it home only to find it is too small. I gave it to the wife.

New Activities: I've been beating this drum myself for a few years now and couldn't agree more. That said, I dissagree with you feelings on extinction. The event is different then it was a few years ago, but the mass of humanity linning up each weekend suggests that all is well. The success of the TV shows along with future rumored 3-D releases of the movies will determine the long run here. "Always in motion the future is", SWW is safe for now.
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#12 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:17 AM

I would love for some new events to be incorporated for 2009 to add some value to the event. Many of us are repeat SWW'ers and "plusing" the weekends with something new and different is always good. Obviously there were some new characters this year (the Disney ones in addition to Jedi Mickey) but I'd love to see more events and really take advantage of the fact the event is 3 days per weekend.
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#13 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:25 AM

I wrote down my six biggest Pros and Cons of the SWW from the limited amount of time i got to spend at it here

http://unstoppableforce.forummotion.com/ev...-t21-15.htm#908
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#14 User is offline   TK-8029 

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:26 PM

kimdben said:

Quote

2. Was it just me or did the parade seem kind of plain? It'd be cool to have some SW themed floats other than the first one leading the parade. The parade hasn't changed much since I last saw it in 2005.


The parade has been about the same for years, and it is kinda plain. The float was interesting and new.


The first half of the parade is the 501st Legion, we are an international, volunteer, costuming club. Disney does not want us to, or allow us to interact with the crowd in any way. We have been told that they want us to appear as a military type pass in review parade. No waiving, pointing, etc...
I suppose this tends to make the parade a little more bland compared to the other Disney parades with their overly hyper cast members that are actually employed by Disney.
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#15 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:03 PM

I personally enjoy seing the 501st and other fans because of the great work that has gone into their costumes and the various types of storm troopers. Glad to have you around here to share your insight. :lol:
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#16 User is offline   kimdben 

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:23 PM

The 501st isn't what I have a problem with. I enjoy seeing the huge numbers that can sometimes be part of the parade. The problem I have is that it is basically the same exact parade every year. There are so many things they could probably come up with, but don't. The float was new and made the parade more interesting.

I have numerous pics of the 501st, esp. when there are the huge numbers of stormtroopers marching. The stormstroopers ARE military so it makes sense to 'march'. It always amazes me how everyone looks like they just stepped out of the movies. :lol: Great work to all. :lol: 8)
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#17 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:55 PM

I echo that. The 501st is absolutely the best! Incredible job on the costumes. :thumright: :trooper:
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#18 User is offline   Pitti-sing 

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:03 AM

This is a great idea. I wanted to write my annual post-SWW letter to Disney and I wasn’t getting started – so here we go.

LIKED

1. I had the schedule for the weekend before the weekend started. :) Really really number 1 liked. This business of not getting the schedule until Friday morning was getting really old. I big shout out to Matt for posting the schedule on Tuesday night. And because it’s become a tradition, I went over to the Studios on Thursday evening, just to see if anything was up at Guest Services and I was handed a schedule. A real schedule – none of this pretending not to know business. I went around the rest of the evening grinning like an idiot and clutching the thing.

2. They built us a theatre. You may say they only enclosed the old Hunchback theatre, but that thing had been sitting empty in a Florida swamp for a couple of years. We (those Star Wars loving fools) are somewhere so prominent on Disney’s radar that they know that not only do we need a space for the interview show, etc., but that we need an indoor, air conditioned space with comfy chairs.

3. The letters we write make a difference. They brought us Jedi Mickey. Alright, I agree that it didn’t work at all for me this year, but I really need to dedicate a whole day to seeing the characters. Especially if the event stays in June and I poop out after 2pm. :sleep:

4. They learn. After that 1st miserable Friday standing in the sun waiting for the doors to open, they found a place to put the line for the Premiere theatre. Best of all, I had never waited that long to see the Muppets so I had never seen all the cool Muppet movie posters in the queue.

5. SWW/Studios Central dinner. You want to talk about your Good Times. :)


DISLIKED

1. June. :faint: If indeed the rumor that I heard that the date was pushed back to accommodate the re-do of the Premier theatre, then okay. Good reason. But I am going to ask politely if there’s any way that they can see their way clear to moving the dates back to May/June.

2. The later parade time. Mostly because it messed up lunch. When the parade was at 11:15, you could go to the parade – you could even go to the celebrity greeting – then get lunch and still be able to make the interview show. With the parade at 11:40, you’re going to lunch with everybody who’s just in the park anyways. So I need breakfast if lunch isn’t going to be until 2:15. And there wasn’t really anywhere to get a real breakfast.

Really what this means is that if this is the new schedule, and I can see it suiting them much better, I need to adapt. And this is only a problem if you want to be in the autograph lines in the morning before the food court at the hotel opens.

3. I missed the atmosphere on Mickey Avenue. I have taken exception in the past to the reality that, at least at SWW, the dark side is a lot more fun. 8) And I will also admit that I was mostly too busy hiding from the heat to seek them out. But I really missed the roving patrols of Storm Troopers and the Bounty Hunters out menacing people. And, where was the emperor?

4. The Premier Theatre is too far away from the Brown Derby. It’s ok. I’ll adapt.


THINGS I FOUND OUT AND NEED TO FIND OUT MORE

I agree. I want more. I think we’re limiting ourselves by insisting on the return of the adult trivia. There are other possibilities. I loved the special show last year with Ray Park. Several years ago Anthony Daniels did a show just about C-3PO. Is there some way to see if something could be added at 6pm (that’s when the Ray Park show was). And who do we talk to about that?

On one of my many trips to Wicket’s Warehouse, I overheard someone ask if there were Star Wars penny machines. The cm’s answer was that we would need to talk to someone at Lucas about that. So, what else could we get if we talked to someone at Lucas? Who do we need to talk to outside of Disney to get more stuff? Because I really enjoyed the year we had the X-Wing and the Han Solo in carbonite last year wasn’t bad.

Could we have a big exhibit of Star Wars Stuff for Star Wars Weekends? It could take over the space where the Villians exhibit has been. We know Disney listens to us. Who else to we have to write to?
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#19 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:21 AM

Pitti-sing said:

I had the schedule for the weekend before the weekend started. :) Really really number 1 liked. This business of not getting the schedule until Friday morning was getting really old. I big shout out to Matt for posting the schedule on Tuesday night.
I was glad (and surprised) to get a copy of it as early as I did but the reality is without my source, I doubt I'd have been able to get a copy earlier. I really wish Disney would post the schedule on their own earlier than really giving it out on Friday morning for the first time.

Pitti-sing said:

5. SWW/Studios Central dinner. You want to talk about your Good Times. :)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it :D There was a time where I feared the event may stink but I think it went very well and I had a great time.
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#20 User is offline   kimdben 

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:42 PM

Quote

But I am going to ask politely if there’s any way that they can see their way clear to moving the dates back to May/June.


Unfortunately, I don't see them ever going back. I had mailed them last year about June and they still had it in June. I personally would love it if they went back to April/May and stay completely out of June. That just will never happen, they love having the big crowds it equals more money. From their standpoint I understand, but from our standpoint, we get stuck standing in extremely long lines usually with nothing to show for it. Unlike you, I ended up with no David Prowse autograph on Saturday. I only go the one day (Saturdays) and royally got screwed 'cause of the 200 or so people in line already ahead of me at 8:15am. The fastpasses ended a good 50 or more people ahead of me.

Unfortunately, you are also one of my biggest pet peeves--the people who sleep overnight. I personally find it completely unfair and I believe that it shouldn't be allowed. Everyone should have the same chance to get a fastpass, sleeping overnight is not a fair chance. It's the same people every weekend, how is that fair? :x
Oh well, I will complain about that until I am blue in the face and completely dead, it will never change. :frownblue: Disney just doesn't care :!: Not enough to fix the problems anyway.
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