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  1. #1
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    Post Episode 86: The #runICOT Marathon Weekend Recap

    The Cast: John Yaglenski, Melanie Bounds, Carol Robert, Carolyn Pongratz, Justin McCarthy

    - Introducing Carolyn and Justin - Welcome!

    - 3 out of 5 had problems with Magic Bands - why is this such a big issue

    - Justin experiences his first audio issue on the Podcast.

    - Day One 5k - group picture, Cheer Squad. Lack of costumes due to the new policy which came out days before the race.The weather was better for marathon weekend. So toy guns have been removed from the parks, but toy swords and light sabers are O.K.? Trader Sams meet.

    - Day Two 10k - It’s POURING! Early morning up at 2:45am. Didn’t stop for photo ops since I was doing the half.* Boardwalk cheer section and slippery running.* Canada complains about the lack of scenery for the first half of the 10k. #runnerProblems.* Blisters because of wet shoes. No Cowbells??? Are you kidding me?

    - Day Three Half Marathon - Scott David was awesome at the Magic Kingdom! Fist fight on Main Street USA?* Where you see flashes, pose! John finished running which was a huge deal for him. Running up Main Street is flat out cool.

    - Day Four Full Marathon - Weather was very humid and tough to run in. Cheering at Shades of Green, Cancer buddy Melanie, Studios.* Carolyn gets lost.

    - The 22.4 Magnet - John made his own.

    - Justin’s shoes.

    - On to questions from our listeners. The #GrumpyChallenge.*

    - Runners, how do you avoid blisters especially on your toes?

    - #runICOT 2017 is going to Disneyland! The peer pressure is on Carol.


    >> Listen, Download, Share, Love!...
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

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  3. #2
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    Woo hoo! Can't wait to listen.
    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

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  5. #3
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    My audio issue was kind of funny. I was completely clueless that anything happened for a good minute. Sorry. Listening back, wow I really was nervous.

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  7. #4
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    I just want to echo something that Justin said early on in this podcast: Direct-to-Room is a dead-end, so draw from our lessons learned and don't use it!

    Warning: the following is based solely on my experience, and is in no way supported by published fact (and some of it is being sarcastic), and I am a little long-winded when it comes to details, so some people may want to skip to the next post...

    After 5 resort reservations covering three trips since the inception of MDE, I have developed a theory to explain the chronic failures I (and others) have experienced. I have had 3 out of 5 reservations have room charges fail, and 2 out of 5 have failed to open the door to the room. Both times my room access didn't work it was said to be a "maintenance issue" on my first attempt at fixing it, and both times it turned out to be a technology issue instead. Some of my room charging issues have been, IMO, a result of having multiple active bands for the same person.

    For the last 3 years I have read (and reposted) that the MDE system ties all of these various computer systems at Disney together into one place (Magical Express, room doors, room charges, DDP credits, park tickets, PhotoPass, etc). The running theme of these posts are that linking a resort confirmation number or a MagicBand or RFID card to MDE magically links all of your E-Stuff together and that any and all bands/cards are interchangeable. I now believe this to be false, at least for "resort controlled" things like doors and charges. Like Carol said "you can see that on the app", but the fact that you can see your resort is linked on your MDE account means squat in terms of actual room access. I speculate that the computer system that controls "room keys" and other resort-controlled items remain on a long-established computer system developed during the Eisner administration, and that there isn't a true "live" link between what you see on the MDE website and what the old-school resort computer system has authorized. (I have also decided that the resort's IT backbone is operating on an old Windows 3.1 PC, which was once upgraded to Windows 95 but never really did work right after the upgrade, and that only 3 people are still alive that can work on it!)

    Based on my recent trips to Guest Relations and the front desk, I have decided that the only way a MagicBand gets to open a room door (or charge a purchase to a room account) is if the resort "copies" your 16-digit ID number for each band from MDE and "pastes" it onto the "room key database" that is resort-specific. Now how this "copy and paste" gets done depends on the circumstances (and is almost entirely speculative on my part), but for example if you do Online Check-in, I think that sometime in the 1:00am-5:00am range some process is run where the 16-digit ID numbers from guest's MDE accounts are transferred onto the resort database to grant room access upon check-in that day. If you check in old-school, they scan one of your bands and then they retrieve all of your band information from the MDE system and apply the same data to the resort's system. Anytime I have dealt with band issues, the CMs seems to click their mouse a ridiculous number of times just to activate two bands, and I think it's because they have to do all of this moving around of ID numbers, especially if there are multiple bands per person.

    Based on my experience, I think that anytime you alter something about your room's folio that the CM must be sure to not drop any MagicBands off the list of approved IDs, and that if you have lots of MagicBands active then it becomes increasingly more difficult for the CMs to get it right without missing something. I think this explains why myself at Pop (and Melaine at All Star) were able to utilize direct-to-room flawlessly: sometimes all of the copying and pasting works, sometimes it doesn't, and it all depends a lot more on human intervention than it does on MDE magic working seamlessly in the background.

    I think that when Disney ships the MagicBands to you, those bands are not linked to your resort's folio until the resort transfers those band's ID numbers onto their system sometime in the early morning hours of your arrival date. I am sure (well, maybe) it's an automated process, but is one riddled with technical failures on the part of Disney IT and often requires human intervention to fix. As an interesting test of the plausibly of my theory, I wonder if anyone has purchased a customized MagicBand inside the parks, had the bands linked onto their MDE page at the cash register, and then immediately were able to use that band to open their room door WITHOUT first having to go to the front desk to get the new band activated for room door purposes? If some people have done this, it shoots a big hole in my theory!

    While I have not personally experienced issues with the ticketing part of MagicBands, I speculate that the same problem will hold true: that anytime a ticket is created, the bands assigned to it have to be activated to that ticket individually, that having them linked on MDE does not fully do the trick, or at least do the trick in all scenarios. I think that's why people report that sometime their APs are accessible by some bands/cards but not all bands/cards they have linked. Just because you see them online doesn't seem to matter much once you get onto WDW property and actually try to use any of this technology. The MDE website makes everything look like it is all seamlessly stored together, but in reality it's a train wreck of different systems and Disney just can't seem to make them play nice together on a consistent basis.

    So there is my two cents, I was going to post it in a separate thread entitled "Don't use direct-to-room" but the opening stories of this podcast inspired me to post it here. There may be someone who know better and can shoot down everything I have theorized, but there is a big disconnect between online MDE from home and actual in-the-field use once you arrive, and so far it lacks an official explanation.
    Coming up.. A break from Disney, and a lot of camping!

    Jan'17 POFQ (10k!)
    Dec'16 ASMv & AKL & Pop
    Oct'16 Pop & Cabins
    Jun'16 BC
    Apr'16 ASMv
    Feb'16 CSR
    Jan'16 POR
    May'15 Pop & CBR pirates
    Oct'13 ASMu & AoA
    Dec'10 Pop
    Oct'10 Pop & AKL
    Jun'10 CR
    Mar'07 ASMv
    Jun'04 POR
    Jun'94 Onsite

  8. #5
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    Half way through the podcast. Loving the new voices! Seriously, these podcasts make my commute so much more enjoyable.

    *Grand Floridian
    *Disneyland Hotel
    *Boardwalk Inn *Bay Lake Tower
    *Contemporary Resort *Old Key West
    *Polynesian Resort *Animal Kingdom Lodge
    * Port Orleans French Quarter
    * Fort Wilderness Cabins & Campground
    *Art of Animation * Pop Century
    * All Star Movies, Music & Sports

  9. #6
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    Great episode! Congratulations to all the runners at all distances! Maybe some year soon I can do another runDisney & runICOT event with you.
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: July 2015 Birthday trip - Disneyland! April 2016 - Disneyland!!
    Next Trips: INTERCOT 20th Anniversary Meet October 2017!

  10. #7
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    Wahoo! I had a lot of fun on this podcast. Thanks for welcoming me! I've been looking at maps to figure out how the heck I ended up driving so far off of Disney property after the 10K. I know my way around the resort so well after 35+ years but if you take one wrong exit that forces you to go in the wrong direction, you're in trouble! Looks like I somehow got onto Buena Vista Drive heading the wrong way and got to have a lovely scenic tour. Thanks again everybody for the meetups and I'm looking forward to the race in California next year!

    In the future, I'm going to keep a printed map in my car so I can refer to it!
    ~ Carolyn ~ aka "CANADA!"
    Every year since 1979! Annual Passholder in CANADA!

    * Old Key West
    * Saratoga Springs
    * Boardwalk
    * Coronado Springs
    * Contemporary & Bay Lake Tower
    * Caribbean Beach
    * Port Orleans Riverside
    * Fort Wilderness
    * Pop Century
    * All Star Music Movies & Sports

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  12. #8
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    Thanks for another Great Episode. It was awesome hearing some new, yet familiar voices (even if Justin was in the unplug/plug zone for a while). I've been listening while on the treadmill, and today I got to relive the Half. Thanks for welcoming my Girls to Casey's and for tolerating me stopping for a selfie with them. I thought the air was thick the AM of the half, a little more humid than this Midwest guy is used to in Winter. But at least it wasn't as humid as Friday AM. I agree with all that running through the parks n any of the RunDisney events changes the way you look at the park. And I agree that CheerIcot is an essential part of the success of the weekend for all of us, running or just cheering. Seeing you guys at Mile 12 on the half day was the boost I needed at the end. The fog that AM stole the magical view of Spaceship Earth, and all that was left was you guys... Thanks for helping me bring it home. And Thanks again to all, this Community is amazing.

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  14. #9
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    Finally got to listen to the full show. Loved it. Firstly it's pronounced Ver-st-ee-gen. Secondly, you know there are some more of us Canadians, heck I'm only an hour away from Carolyne.

    I wanted to know about the kids expo cause last year I had my 6 yr old and 3 yr old run. I'll be back again next year for another Dopey, hoping John will join this time. Kids will run again too.

    Thanks again for the great update.

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