VIP Tours and RotR Discussion

taramesu

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Hi!! :)



When we went in late December, they had just started the system where you couldn't tap in to secure a BG until official park opening. Our VIP Guide got us there in time for RD (6:00 am on our tour day), but the issue, at that time, was that the VIP Tours ticketing system at DHS had a 5 minute delay from official park opening until VIP guests could tap in (it has something to do with their hand-held equipment not being tied to the tapstiles). That 5 minute delay was compounded by the fact that there were 5 VIP groups (at least 40 or so guests altogether) all tapping in to one VIP hand-held ticket scanner. By the time we scanned in at 6:07 am, we were only able to secure a back-up BG which was fine with us as I knew nothing was guaranteed and it at least gave us a possible chance to ride. We ended up getting some pixie dust from guest services who moved our BG up so we could ride earlier in the day, but it was completely unexpected. VIP Tour services were very upfront with us that they could not get us on the ride, so we were happy with the back-up BG we got and super happy with the pixie dust.

The possible issue I see with your tour, however, is, recently the BG's and back-up BG's have been running out in, literally, minutes (I think today all BGs were gone by 8:03 am - 3 minutes after opening). If there is still a 5 minute delay in tapping in to DHS for VIP guests, your chances of getting any BG may be slim to none and I really don't know if your VIP guide can intervene and help if you don't secure a BG at all.

If I were you, I would call VIP Tour services and ask if there is still a ticket scanning delay and, if so, how they are navigating the delay with guests who are trying to get a BG. If the delay has been eliminated, you will, at least, have a better chance of snagging a BG or back-up BG, but, again, there are no guarantees.
We had a private VIP tour in late December and also had a delayed scan even though we were already backstage in the park before park opening. I wondered if the delay was just bad luck for us that day but it sounds like the VIP tours ticketing system was the reason for the delay. It was driving me crazy not knowing so thanks for sharing!
 

JennTOR

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Our tour was this week, we did not get RotR. We were not at Studios for rope drop so didn't even attempt a BG. DH is a huge SW fan as was our guide so she got him some looks into the Cantina and that light saber store after riding MF but that was it. Our guide indicated Rise is still not at the boarding capacity Operations wants
 
  • Scarlet_J

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2015
    Can someone please clarify some of the information I'm seeing in this thread? Can we use the VIP guide to at least ease the burden of getting into the park early enough to try to get a boarding group? Some people were talking about a delay when scanning their MB on the ipads when entering from back stage. However, couldn't the guide get us inside the park a bit before official opening since they are allowing regular guests inside the park early? For example, for 8 am opening, we get picked up at 7:30 and get to the park and scanned in at 7:45. That gives us a full 15 minutes for the scan to register. I know we are still not guaranteed a BG, but would be easier than trying to use Disney transportation at 6:30am. Would this work?
     

    2102raven

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2013
    Can someone please clarify some of the information I'm seeing in this thread? Can we use the VIP guide to at least ease the burden of getting into the park early enough to try to get a boarding group? Some people were talking about a delay when scanning their MB on the ipads when entering from back stage. However, couldn't the guide get us inside the park a bit before official opening since they are allowing regular guests inside the park early? For example, for 8 am opening, we get picked up at 7:30 and get to the park and scanned in at 7:45. That gives us a full 15 minutes for the scan to register. I know we are still not guaranteed a BG, but would be easier than trying to use Disney transportation at 6:30am. Would this work?
    Yes, that’s what I did in my last tour and will do so again next month. that’s the advantage of having a plaid - they’ll take you backstage, scan your bands/tickets, and wait until park opens for a BG. best part will be avoiding the throng of people cramming the pathways
     

    taramesu

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2013
    Can someone please clarify some of the information I'm seeing in this thread? Can we use the VIP guide to at least ease the burden of getting into the park early enough to try to get a boarding group? Some people were talking about a delay when scanning their MB on the ipads when entering from back stage. However, couldn't the guide get us inside the park a bit before official opening since they are allowing regular guests inside the park early? For example, for 8 am opening, we get picked up at 7:30 and get to the park and scanned in at 7:45. That gives us a full 15 minutes for the scan to register. I know we are still not guaranteed a BG, but would be easier than trying to use Disney transportation at 6:30am. Would this work?
    We did our tour on Dec 27 and park opening was 6 AM that week. We rearranged our plans so that our tour would begin at 5:30 AM & have our plaid pick us up at Contemporary Resort. He drove us to HS & took us to backstage area so we would be "in" the park before HS opened at 6 AM, which we were. Then there was an unexplained delay from when the park opened/BGs opened and when all VIP guests in the backstage area were technically scanned into the park. It was maybe a 5 minute delay but definitely a delay. The VIP guides were not able to scan us into the park before the park opened. Our group & the group next to us both got BGs in the 90s. I am not sure about the other VIP groups though. Someone else in this thread mentioned the VIPs scanner is slightly delayed compared to when the park opens. I hadn't heard that before but it would explain our delay that day. That was over two months ago though so maybe things are different now.
     

    GoingSince1990

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2018
    We did our tour on Dec 27 and park opening was 6 AM that week. We rearranged our plans so that our tour would begin at 5:30 AM & have our plaid pick us up at Contemporary Resort. He drove us to HS & took us to backstage area so we would be "in" the park before HS opened at 6 AM, which we were. Then there was an unexplained delay from when the park opened/BGs opened and when all VIP guests in the backstage area were technically scanned into the park. It was maybe a 5 minute delay but definitely a delay. The VIP guides were not able to scan us into the park before the park opened. Our group & the group next to us both got BGs in the 90s. I am not sure about the other VIP groups though. Someone else in this thread mentioned the VIPs scanner is slightly delayed compared to when the park opens. I hadn't heard that before but it would explain our delay that day. That was over two months ago though so maybe things are different now.
    Unpleasant times for the VIP guides, who I would imagine are quite unaccustomed to having to pick guests up at the crack of dawn for a VIP tour. After all, one of the great benefits of such a tour is being able to sleep relatively late but to still get to do lots of rides and shows without worrying about rope drop. I will be calling 3 days prior to our scheduled April tour to ask if they are guaranteeing access to ROTR for VIP tour groups at that point (without the need to get up early) and canceling the tour if they are not (which can be done 48 hours ahead of time with no penalty).
     


  • 2102raven

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2013
    Unpleasant times for the VIP guides, who I would imagine are quite unaccustomed to having to pick guests up at the crack of dawn for a VIP tour. After all, one of the great benefits of such a tour is being able to sleep relatively late but to still get to do lots of rides and shows without worrying about rope drop. I will be calling 3 days prior to our scheduled April tour to ask if they are guaranteeing access to ROTR for VIP tour groups at that point (without the need to get up early) and canceling the tour if they are not (which can be done 48 hours ahead of time with no penalty).
    i would keep the guide because studios is a mess currently. lines grow massive at other rides and people wait for their boarding times clogging up pathways
     

    DisneyWishes14

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2011
    Can someone please clarify some of the information I'm seeing in this thread? Can we use the VIP guide to at least ease the burden of getting into the park early enough to try to get a boarding group? Some people were talking about a delay when scanning their MB on the ipads when entering from back stage. However, couldn't the guide get us inside the park a bit before official opening since they are allowing regular guests inside the park early? For example, for 8 am opening, we get picked up at 7:30 and get to the park and scanned in at 7:45. That gives us a full 15 minutes for the scan to register. I know we are still not guaranteed a BG, but would be easier than trying to use Disney transportation at 6:30am. Would this work?
    You will need to call VIP tour services to see if the ticket scanning delay at DHS has been fixed. As taramesu mentioned a few posts before this one, the VIP iPad ticket scanners that they use backstage at DHS are not connected to the tapstiles and, at least in late December when we both did our tours, had a 5 minute delay at park opening to scan MBs in. Add on top of that the fact that all VIP guides with groups backstage at DHS were scanning in on ONE iPad, further delaying scanning and trying for a BG. The VIP guides have zero ability to scan you in early because their iPads do not have the capacity to do so. Again, I would call VIP tour services and ask this very specific question - is there still a delay in scanning VIP guest MBs backstage at DHS opening. If the answer is yes, I would ask them if there is anything they are doing to make up for the lost time in scanning in - for instance, will guest services issue you an earlier BG, once you snag one, since you lost 5 minutes? That's basically what they did for us, but there is no guarantee they are still doing this for guests. We got pixie dusted. And if there is a delay, there isn't even a guarantee you would snag a back-up BG.
     

    vikequeen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    You will need to call VIP tour services to see if the ticket scanning delay at DHS has been fixed. As taramesu mentioned a few posts before this one, the VIP iPad ticket scanners that they use backstage at DHS are not connected to the tapstiles and, at least in late December when we both did our tours, had a 5 minute delay at park opening to scan MBs in. Add on top of that the fact that all VIP guides with groups backstage at DHS were scanning in on ONE iPad, further delaying scanning and trying for a BG. The VIP guides have zero ability to scan you in early because their iPads do not have the capacity to do so. Again, I would call VIP tour services and ask this very specific question - is there still a delay in scanning VIP guest MBs backstage at DHS opening. If the answer is yes, I would ask them if there is anything they are doing to make up for the lost time in scanning in - for instance, will guest services issue you an earlier BG, once you snag one, since you lost 5 minutes? That's basically what they did for us, but there is no guarantee they are still doing this for guests. We got pixie dusted. And if there is a delay, there isn't even a guarantee you would snag a back-up BG.
    thanks for the detailed info. very helpful!
     

    2xcited2sleep

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2008
    We did a tour this past weekend. We had an amazing time, were able to ride RotR, and loved every minute of the entire tour. Here is some logistics info in case it helps anyone in planning -- but, of course, this is one group's experience and things are always subject to change. Park opening was 8am and we were picked up at an EPCOT area resort at 7:30am. We went straight to the Studios and were perhaps the second or third of what would ultimately be ~8-10 tours arriving backstage that morning. There were other cast members (not your tour guide) who came around and scanned you in with an ipad. I'd estimate we were scanned in around 7:45 - maybe a tad earlier. It was chilly that morning so we stayed in the van for a bit but ~10 min to open we got out and headed toward the backstage entrance, as did the other tours. The tour guides and "check-in" cast members helped us keep time and advised when to get ready and some circulated to help anyone not familiar with the app to ensure they knew what they were doing. It was clear that they knew why we were all there so early and were doing their best to help facilitate access. We were a group of seven and rather than anyone trying to get a boarding group for all 7 of us, we broke into smaller groups -- so a group of 3 tried for each other and two groups of two did the same. We were all successful with 5 of us getting the same group and 2 getting a later group. Our guide took us to the Guest Experience team (we waited in line with all guests- no "front of the line" access here) and they were able to merge the two with a later boarding group to the rest of us with the earlier one. So, we spent ~45 min of our tour either backstage waiting or trying to merge boarding groups so that's a consideration but as riding RISE was our top priority we were ok with that. And the rest of the day was phenomenal and our guide was outstanding. To us, it was well worth skipping the chaos of the main gate bag check and entry. I did ask if the guide ever had a party that didn't get boarding group passes and they said that it had happened so there are no guarantees. But they try really hard to ensure your success. Good luck to anyone attempting. The RotR attraction is amazing as is the overall tour experience. Enjoy!!
     
  • Nomarian

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2011
    We did the tour Wednesday before the parks closed on Sunday. I had booked the tour right after lunch at noon. We got up at 6:30 am and went straight to Hollywood Studios and got in line before they opened the gates. They allowed everyone through the gates at 7:30 am for an 8:00 am opening. I stayed back by the gates on WiFi and exactly at 8 am, I was able to get boarding group 14 for our group of 7. We then went into Galaxy's Edge and spent the morning there until our tour began and rode ROTR at about 8:45 am. VIP tours are not able to get you onto ROTR, but we did do Smuggler's Run again on the tour. I was happy doing it this way vs wasting time on the tour trying to get a BG.
     

    cherylc4

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2014
    Anyone have any updates on how ROTR is being handled by VIP since reopening? We have a trip scheduled for Feburary and will be booking a VIP tour while there. TIA!
     

    Prinsessdai

    PrinsessDai
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2016
    Anyone have any updates on how ROTR is being handled by VIP since reopening? We have a trip scheduled for Feburary and will be booking a VIP tour while there. TIA!
    Unfortunately it hasnt changed.... you still need to get the boarding pass yourself to be able to ride it. But now they have different times of the day you can get them.
     
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