Ontario Provincial Parks - reservation help!!

Discussion in 'Reservation Systems' started by Hawks, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Hawks

    Hawks Member

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    Anyone have any secrets/tips for reserving a very popular Ontario provincial park??? I have tried for the past 4 mornings right at 7am for sites. Any suggestions??

    I have their site's clock up and hit the reserve button right at 6:59:59 and also just after that. Still nothing.

    HELP!
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Are you within the 5 month booking window for your first night of your stay ?


    You can always do the often frowned upon 21 day tango and pay cancellation fee's for the days you do not want ... Not that I am endorsing this practice and to this point I haven't felt the need too either ...


    What park are you trying to get into ?
     
  3. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    You're not alone. I've been beat out 3 times this year and did the same thing you did with the clock up and running. Really frustrating!
    It seems to be worse this year than last year.....I can see being beat once or twice but 3 times and counting? Grrrr. I sometimes wonder if there is someone doing a reservation by phone and it beats the system.......who knows.
     
  4. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    I even lost out on a site doing this! You still have to beat someone else on booking even if you are going to cancel some of the reservation later.
     
  5. elizabeth583

    elizabeth583 Member

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    Ugh, I feel your pain. Was trying for Sandbanks this morning, had 5 available sites in the area I wanted, kept F5ing, everything looked good - clicked the specific site with 1 minute to go so I was ready to hit "reserve" .....and everything froze. All pages took forever to load this morning. Ended up finally getting a site at Presqu'ile at about 7:20.
     
  6. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    I just think their site can't handle the traffic when everyone trying to reserve at precisely 7:00 on the button. Last week I tried for a specific site at Macgregor Point. I hit the reserve button just as the clock was switching over to 7:00 and a red line appeared and said 'processing'. The site sort of locked up and the message stayed there for about a minute and a half. I thought I finally beat someone to the punch. Then the message 'site unavailable' appeared. It's getting pretty sad when you actually get a site you want and you feel like you won the lottery. Lol
     
  7. elizabeth583

    elizabeth583 Member

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    Yeah, this morning was particularly bad because it was the first chance to book for July 29, 30, 31 and August 1 because February only had 28 days. I had the same thing with that stupid red processing bar this morning.
    Hope you ended up getting a good site at MacG! We'll be there in May and June, can't wait.
     
  8. jckele

    jckele Member

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    Got a computer & laptop? Try this.

    two computers, 2 user accounts, both log-in and each pick a desired spot and reserve. If either or both are successful you will get this info,

    "You currently have 1 booking(s) in your shopping cart.
    All bookings in your shopping cart will be held until the booking has been paid (status of Paid-Completed). Unpaid items will be lost if you log out or your session is inactive for more than 15 minutes. "



    Could better your odds of getting a desired site. If your both successful then pick one and proceed to pay. You have 15 min to do so and then release the other site. Not perfect but it would save time in trying to pick another site. As well both people can try numerous sites if needed.

    It's no so competitive here although DW and I each have an account.
     
  9. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    I ended up getting a different site at Macgregor than the one we wanted but it will do fine. I also wanted it for starting on July 30 but was afraid that would lose out so I took booked a site starting on July 26 and will cancel those extra days in a month. I don't like doing that but the system left me no choice really. I could just see myself with the 'red line of death' processing message and then losing out in the end.
     
  10. Hawks

    Hawks Member

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    Thanks for all of the tips. We're trying for the Pinery (which is always crazy!).

    I think everyone was looking to book for the Civic long week-end, which isn't really needed for us (we would be happy getting there on the 3rd of August, so I still have a couple of more days to get up early and hit the button). I found today that the site was hanging for a while too, too many people trying to get the long week-end booked, eh?

    I had a friend trying today as well, with 4 computers and still didn't get a reservation. Are people finally learning the truth about how great camping is?!?!?

    Fingers crossed I can book something in the next couple of days or get lucky in a month when those that booked at the 5 month mark, start to cancel :)
     
  11. elizabeth583

    elizabeth583 Member

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    I always tell myself to wait until 4 months out to see what becomes available, but I just can't make myself do it...
    Hope you can get in to the Pinery! We'll be there in 46 more days - it's very easy to get the site you want in April!
     
  12. Hawks

    Hawks Member

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    I am happy to report that I finally booked a site at the Pinery for the 1st week of August, as we wanted. Fifth times a charm :)
     
  13. elizabeth583

    elizabeth583 Member

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    Hey, glad you got it! It'll be nice to have a week there.
     
  14. dfury7

    dfury7 Member

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    I had to wait until I received my tax return to start booking trips for this year's season. It was so exciting to finally get serious about booking.

    My first attempt was for probably THE most desired site at Point Farms overlooking the lake. I was shocked to see it available on the dates I wanted in August.....and then it dawned on me....I was looking out past the 5 month pre-booking limit....

    Needless to say I got another site booked (a great site too) for mid July. I can't believe I forgot the 5 month window...Now my other two reservations I was so excited to book will have to wait for another 3-4 weeks.... SIGH
     
  15. MatthewLaura

    MatthewLaura Member

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    Glad you were able to get your reservations for the park you wanted. It can be very difficult to get booked in through the Ontario Parks Reservation system, especially for those popular parks. Having worked for Ontario Parks at Sandbanks I can tell you the system would crash all the time due to the number of people trying to book all at once, as well the practice of people booking and cancelling is very frustrating and is why the cancellation fees have gone up so much. When I worked at Sandbanks we would have peopled lined up forever to book sites and you would get that person that would book several sites for every weekend in the summer, which led to others in line to get very cheesed off, you got close to having fights over sites.

    There are some really nice private parks close to sandbanks, as well if you are not staying in Sandbanks there is a day use park not far from there called North Beach which is a really nice sand beach like Sandbanks with dunes, and there is also an enclosed lake in the same park that is nice as well, warmer not as rough water.

    That whole area is becoming increasingly popular due to the wineries, my favorite one of which is Sandbanks wines, very good and good prices at the winery.
     
  16. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Myself like many others feel opp need to overhaul their rules and increase the cancellation fee's .. Change things so that you have to cancel the reservation as a whole, not just a couple nights...
     
  17. elizabeth583

    elizabeth583 Member

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    ^^^ Agreed!

    dfury, I know which site you're talking about at Point Farms! It's our favourite in the spring when it's not quite so busy. We'll be on that site in June. :)
     

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