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Your opinion of the Fantasmic! Dinner Package

#1 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 07:20 PM

I just wrote an article on my opinion of the Fantasmic! Dinner Package and it's clear I'm not a fan but I'm curious what everyone else's opinion is. Do you use it? Do you like it? Do you recommend it generally?
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#2 User is offline   Ward 

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:35 PM

Well since you asked ...

We've used it three times now, and we like it. We've always used the Hollywood & Vine option. It's the lowest priced of the three, and we like the buffet choices at H&V, even without the Fantasmic package. We see it as sort of a bonus.

As for the reserved section, it's not actually all the way on the right. The seating starts at the next to last section on the right. Small difference, but it does make a difference.

We also believed that we had to exit with the masses. But I tried something that I'd read online this time. FDP guests can actually exit by the same path that we enter the theater. Unfortunately, they block the re-entry at Oscars, and force us to re-join the masses just after the Planet Hollywood store. But hey, that's better than the slow, tired, sardine-walk.

So overall, if you go during a busy time and stick to the Hollywood & Vine option, I'd consider it a pretty good value.
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#3 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:22 PM

Ward said:

We also believed that we had to exit with the masses. But I tried something that I'd read online this time. FDP guests can actually exit by the same path that we enter the theater. Unfortunately, they block the re-entry at Oscars, and force us to re-join the masses just after the Planet Hollywood store. But hey, that's better than the slow, tired, sardine-walk.
If they had a special exit for FDP guests, that would make it worth it in my mind as it's such a tease to exit through the FDP entrance, only to be dumped onto Sunset with the rest of the guests.

I do agree H&V is the best option of the 3. It has a great selection of food and is relatively cheap.
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#4 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:38 PM

We have used this three times ourselves now. Hollywood and Vine is also our preference and truth be told we have been very happy with it. Getting in is so much simpler this way. Now that said, the cattle call recessional leaves a lot to be desired! Still I will continue to use it to see this GREAT show and do reccommend it to others. I don't like having to worry about getting in and H&V has good food, and a family has to eat! :wink:
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#5 User is offline   Ward 

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 10:38 PM

The Dark Lord of the Sith said:

Getting in is so much simpler this way. Now that said, the cattle call recessional leaves a lot to be desired!
Remember, FDP guests are allowed to exit the way they entered.

Click for map of exit routes: http://img213.images...069/testit6.jpg

While this takes the longer distance route (green), at least it's moving, unlike the sardine walk (red) with the masses. :shock:
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#6 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 07:32 AM

Nice graphic Ward. :thumright: I've fond the exit way that FDP guests use to enter about as slow getting out considering the left half of the theater uses that side to exit. The only sure fire way to get out and beat the crowds is to leave early (usually when Steamboat Willy comes out).
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#7 User is offline   Howie 

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 09:00 AM

we have done the FDP a few times back in the beginning and always at the BD when all you did was each adult had to order 1 entree and you got the pass; there were no price levels, etc like now; we always ate full meals of course and just got the pass because................;

more than not we have not done the package and got great seats;

i find that the benefits arent exactly as one would think; yes, you are guaranteed a seat in that stage left section and can arrive as late as 1/2 hour before the show starts; however, if you arent early you can find yourself way up top and not in that great a seat; we have actually had better seats arriving late without the FDP; for example we arrived late last trip in august '06 and sat right down on the front row bench, stage right where we never sat and had a great time; we prefer the very front in either section, right, center or left; and have never gotten wet :wink: ;

it is like the candlelight processional deal; if you arent in the line a good 60 minutes before on the left side, thje CP line, even with the package, you might get seats way in the back;

another thing about the FD package is that when you book at 180 days out or even when it was 60 you get a crazy early time like 4:15 PM; so you take it just in case and then within 30 days they release many much better and normal dinner times;

all in all it isnt a bad thing but i dont think we will be doing it again; when one knows all the in and outs it isnt a necessary thing to reserve that deal and seat;
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#8 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 11:34 AM

You raise some interesting points Howie, especially about what times you may have to get like those odd times like 4:15pm.

Like I've always said, it's not bad, it's just unnecessary.
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Posted 04 April 2007 - 10:19 AM

We have used the FD package for the last two years and because of price have always chosen Hollywood and Vine. You do get ridiculous times. This year I have a 4:15 reservation. DDs are 8 and 2 years old so this package keeps us from having to wait in line. It's a breeze to be able to just walk in. However, you have to leave your strollers pretty far back for parents with arm babies.
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#10 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 12:33 PM

4:15pm for dinner is too early, even for me. I can handle a 5pm dinner reservation but with a time like 4:15, the inconvenience is now at dinner instead of at Fantasmic. Clearly there are only a few slots for FDP guests in each of the restaurants and I'm sure Hollywood & Vine times go fast because of it's price.
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#11 User is offline   Ward 

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 12:59 PM

We usually schedule a 4:45 ADR for H&V FDP. Then, we'll show up just a bit late, 'accidently' of course. :wink: We end up being seated a little after 5:00. It's early, but not terribly so.
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#12 User is offline   abcmanzer 

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 08:26 AM

On this and other sites I have seen posted :study: that only early times were available for FDP reservations, but when I called a few weeks ago for a reservation at the end of June I was able to reserve anytime from 4PM through to the end of the night. I even asked if the CM was sure, and they said "Yep, no problem." I basically had my pick of times throughout the evening. I first chose 6, then changes to 5:30 to allow for at least some touring before Fantasmic! I am not sure if offering only early dinner times was a thing of the past, but it didn't seem to be the case for me.
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#13 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:43 PM

Welcome to MGMStudios.Org abcmanzer!

By no means are we trying to say you can only get weird times for dinner when on the FDP, but often that's the case and it all depends on the time of year you go, the day of the week and the restaurant you choose. Which restaurant did you book for?
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#14 User is offline   abcmanzer 

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 05:25 PM

Hollywood and Vine. I am naturally cheap, er, frugal. :roll:
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#15 User is offline   MJMcBride 

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 07:53 PM

I'm a big fan of the package. I like being assured of a spot for Fantasmic without having to get there at rope drop. I don't mind eating at 400 either for it
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Posted 25 April 2007 - 08:39 PM

MJMcBride said:

I'm a big fan of the package. I like being assured of a spot for Fantasmic without having to get there at rope drop. I don't mind eating at 400 either for it
You and I don't see eye to eye at all :lol: What times of the year do you usually go to WDW?
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#17 User is offline   chidseyc 

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:51 PM

I booked the FDP this year on my trip last month because it was a busy time of year. We arrived 30 minutes ahead of time as recommended by our server at Hollywood and Vine. When we arrived, we were turned away because they had already released the extra seats to the general public.

One helpful attendant tried to get us in, but couldn't. He also recommended we come back for the late show, or on another day, but neither would work in our schedule.

My reservation for FDP was NOT worth it. At least we got a nice dinner.

---Chris
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#18 User is offline   Ward 

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 10:26 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your experience, chidseyc. It's actually unusual for a PS to be released ahead of the seating time; and even if it had been released due to arriving late, they usually try to work you in.

Reminder: The PS itself isn't actually a reservation, it's the next available table that meets your parties' requirements - you're on the list ahead of any walk-ups. That's the theory, anyway.
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#19 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 12:29 PM

Welcome to MGMStudios.Org chidseyc!

In your case, I would have told you to skip the package and go to the second showing of the night. It's far easier to get into it and you only have to wait 30-40 minutes because of the time needed to clear out folks from show 1 and clean up.
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#20 User is offline   MJMcBride 

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 08:40 PM

QuickGold said:

MJMcBride said:

I'm a big fan of the package. I like being assured of a spot for Fantasmic without having to get there at rope drop. I don't mind eating at 400 either for it
You and I don't see eye to eye at all :P What times of the year do you usually go to WDW?


My last trip was in mid November where it was crowded on the weekends but not so much during the week. I have small kids so its not bad to eat early, enjoy the park and then get to Fantasmic a little later. Even as late as we get there it can be difficult to keep to little ones entertained sitting on bleachers. Of course, they loved Fantasmic especially my son
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