Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Saga of Linking our Reservations

Well, I'm back. This has been a much longer absence than I expected, but I went from being very busy to very ill without much space in between, and so I've not been spending very much time at the computer.

An important update on our WDW planning came last week, when at long last our reservations linked with our My Disney Experience account. This has been a bit of a palaver, and so far the most annoying and unpleasant thing about our booking. I would have thought as we booked directly with the Walt Disney Travel Company via their website, that this kind of thing was automated, but it wasn't and even with quite a bit of effort, I wasn't able to solve the problem myself (or find a Cast Member who could help).

I first tried to link out account after booking at over 11 months out from our travel date. It didn't work. I checked around on the website, and found this in their FAQS:

I’m staying at Old Key West or Saratoga Springs – why can’t I link my reservation? If you’re still more than 10 months away from your holiday arrival date and are staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa your reservation may not have yet downloaded to My Disney Experience to be linked. Rest assured your reservation is guaranteed, but until you’re within 10 months of arrival it unfortunately can’t be linked in My Disney Experience.

(You'll find it under the My Magic+ tab on the drop down menu...)

So, the website clearly says it's not possible to link until the booking details are downloaded to the system at 10 months out, right? Wrong! Not one of the Cast Members I spoke to knew anything about this, and they each told me something different.

Photo Credit: Mike Baker

The first CM I spoke too knew nothing about the 10 months out stated on the website. She pointed out the 6 digit code that was issued to me as my reservation number as a UK guest was not the number I could use to link my account. I needed a 8 character alpha-numeric code to link the reservation, but she couldn't help provide it. She suggested I leave it a couple of weeks and call again. She also wished me a "magical day"... which as a Brit, I found hard not to take as sarcasm!

The second CM I spoke to was LOVELY... but similarly couldn't help. She did add to our reservation that it would be our first visit, and that we were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary whilst there. She told us we wouldn't be able to link before 190 days out, but to try after we'd come under 200 as we might be lucky. She told us this was because we were staying at a DVC resort, but said we'd be able to link before the time for ADRs opened up at 180 days out.

The technical support CM was USELESS. I was on the phone over an hour. He couldn't find my reservation, because he's a) not listened when I told him the number and b) not checked the name on the booking (he looked for my name- it was booked in my husband's name). When we finally got that sorted out, he couldn't link it either. He told me it probably wouldn't be possible until March (bear in mind, ADRs open up for us mid-February) and it was because we were staying at a DVC resort AND had a dining plan.

That last phone call was around 20th of October... after which, I kinda lost the will to fight the system. It was stupid. Lovely UK guests from the DIS Boards told me it was possible to link, but I was having no joy, and had no time to fight them. Then I was busy. Then I got sick... and then earlier this week I thought I'd try again. I'm not sure why, but I did.

I was 259 days out. I put in my 6 digit UK reservation number into the manual linking bit on MDE... and the link went through! I'm not sure what changed, but it finally worked, and I was doing a happy dance at last. Turns out the first CM I spoke to was most correct, although I didn't need the 8 digit code (that I do now have access to on my MDE account).

Photo Credit: Bianca de Blok

This felt like a huge jump forward in our journey to WDW, and I wanted to share it to give hope to anyone else having the joy of fighting with MDE to make theirs work too!

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