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Every time I try to make a reservation, every available slot is full. This makes me think the slots fill up within potentially as little as half an hour or less after they first become available.

In light of this it seems like the best way to successfully schedule something would be to check right after slots become available. Unfortunately, I do not know when this is.

Do slots become available at a consistent time or is it all over the place? It doesn't seem to me like it's consistent. I've seen new slots (eg. thirty days out) appear as being full at 12:15am CST and sometimes they're not even listing slots, full or otherwise, even at 10am, but then when I check at 10pm they're full. Maybe there's a pattern but if so I'm having a tough time gleaning it. Due to their use of a captcha I can't really write a script to check either.

Any ideas?

  • 1
    Yes. Have you tried calling them or tweeting them and asking? – Mark Mayo Sep 23 '15 at 4:32
2

You should probably look at the FAQ to answer your question:

It looks like there are no available tour times. Why am I unable to book a reservation online?

Reservations are available at a first-come, first-served basis 30 days in advance on a rolling calendar.

Can I book a reservation for more than four months from now?

No. Reservations can be booked up to one month in advance.

So at 12am EST October 1st reservations for November will become available. So I guess you can try then.

  • 12am EST is what I've been assuming but that's not the case from what I've seen. Like let's say it's Sept 1 / 12:05am CST. That's 1:05am EST, unless I'm mistaken. So I check and no slots are listed, full or otherwise, for Oct 1. But then I check at 5pm CST and then there are slots listed for Oct 1 and they're full. But then let's say on Sept 2 / 12:05am CST I'll check and I do see slots for Oct 2, but, once again, they're full. ie. my observations to date suggest that the slots become available at wildly inconsistent times, and I've been watching it for several weeks, trying to find something. – neubert Sep 23 '15 at 15:06
  • @neubert They are unlikely to admit that they may be manually throttling the number of slots available. – Karlson Sep 23 '15 at 15:28
  • Karlson, @neubert: Note that daylight saving time is in effect on October 1st, so you probably should be writing 12 am EDT and 12:05 am CDT. – phoog Oct 28 '15 at 9:43
2

So as an update I successfully got tickets. After a few more weeks of watching their site... tickets seem to go up at around 8:30am CDT and seem to be gone, on average, at around 10:30am CDT. The tickets for Nov 23 were available on Oct 24 (a Saturday) but the tickets for Nov 24 weren't available on Oct 25 (a Sunday) but rather on Oct 26 (a Monday).

In some cases they went up later - at like 10am CDT or so - but they never went up at midnight or 1am.

And sometimes, too, a date would only become available three weeks out. eg. spaces for Nov 16 were only available today, Oct 27, and that's clearly not 30 days out. So just because no times are listed for the day you're wanting to go doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be listed later.

  • Sometimes people cancel their reservations, so it makes sense that availability would suddenly reappear. – Michael Hampton Oct 28 '15 at 2:21
  • That wouldn't explain the Nov 16 thing. So there are several modes that I've observed. (1) Tours listed for 1pm or 2pm or both but not available for booking (ie. full), (2) tours listed and available for booking (ie. not full), (3) tours not listed at all or (4) holidays. Nov 16 was in #3 until today when it moved to #2 (not full). If someone canceled it would presumably move from #1 (full) to #2 (not full). FWIW. – neubert Oct 28 '15 at 4:56
  • 2
    CDT, not CST. See Standard and Daylight are different. – phoog Oct 28 '15 at 9:45

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