Disney to change FastPass?
As reported by the Orlando Sentinel
today, it looks like Disney may change not only how FastPass tickets are distributed, but also potentially creating guest tiers. Disney filed a patent application last week that "would use central computers to manage distribution of FastPass tickets throughout Disney World's four Central Florida theme parks and at Disneyland in Southern California." While that isn't very specific, it is thought this may allow guests to get their FastPass tickets via text messages or even email. Additionally, the patent application references "that the technology could be used to give preferential treatment to people who spend more money at the resort."
When asked to comment on the application a Disney spokesperson told the Orlando Sentinel that FastPass distribution wasn't changing and that they planned to use the technology discussed in the patent for several things.
If you don't already stay on Disney property when you visit Orlando will the possibility of this tiered system make you more likely to do so?
They should keep it the same!
I am probably in the elite few who are a fine of different fast pass options. I don't know how many of you have been to Paris Disney, but they have a system much different than that in the states.
I've seen at least one Disney insider who claims that even though they are patenting the technology doesn't mean the system is going to change.
Maybe it will be a similar system to that at neighbouring Universal & I.O.A.
Well We've been going to Disney now for 24 years..fast pass helps but compared to Universals front of line entry used by resorts guest its very pale. I know Universal can do this more effectivly because they have far fewer resorts but I like idea of guest resorts being given advantage of front of line over others.
Yeah, but thats really not much of a difference considering that a majority of the park goers to Disney World is resort guests while Universal has pretty much commuter guests. Its more of a perk, in my opinion, at Universal.
It would make me more likely to spend more time at Universal, but, as stated, a patent application and implementation are 2 different things.
I have made this statement before and will make it again, the virtual line systems at the parks (all of them) have created a monster!! Now it is something all guests expect and if it's not there it can stir very high emotions.
Believe me, I am a spender, so this isnt at all about being on the cheap. I buy Fast lane tickets at 6 flags for my entire group. But this move would show how far we've really come from Walt's original plan: To have a park that everyone could enjoy. We saw the dissalusion of this concept first with the pay one price entrance.(Remermber how many "A" tickets you used to have in your kitchen junk drawer?). Walt turned over in his grave that time, probably did so again with the advent of the $8 Donald Duck Puck. Can you imagine walking into his office & saying "we want to charge people different prices to have an even better experience"?
I understand it from a marketing point of view. It's brilliant. Until it starts to drive people away.
I cannot see what difference it should make as to where you are staying. In principal, we all pay the same amount of money to enter a theme park and should all be treated the same. ie one fastpass for all. No VIP or preferential treatment for resort guests.
Universals hotel fotl works. Why? 3 hotels.
FastPass is the best system in the theme park industry. It works nearly flawlessly and I don't know anyone with complaints? So why change it to a system where people will obviously not be as happy with it. In the long run, I don't think that Disney would benefit very much, while all the people who dream of having that dream Disney World or Disneyland vacation would be very disheartened by the fact that they no longer can choose which rides they want to see and get their FastPass for it. On my last trip to Disneyland, our group used two FastPasses, for Space Mountain, and for Grizzly River Run (which on a warm day is EASILY the longest line in DCA). We also rode Screamin' twice and did everything that we wanted to do. The FastPass system works fine and I don't see the point in changing it, especially since I personally think that it is so perfect and enhances the trip for everyone in comparison to the people who just show up in line at Six Flags. The ride reservation systems work a lot better if there are a controlled number of people skipping the lines. FastPass only lets a certain amount of people get on in the allotted time, and if you're too late getting the pass, you simply wait the 3 hour line for Space Mountain, or you don't ride it at all. One thing that really irritates me and non-Disney parks is the HUGE groups of people that just show up at the same time and get on the ride, and with Disney, that doesn't happen. Sorry about the long response that seemed to repeat itself alot and didn't have any organization, even while writing it.
I make it a point to only travel to Orlando during the fall or other slow seasons. As a result, it's very rare that I even use FastPass. Last trip, the only attraction I needed it for was Expedition Everest, which was still new and was apparently drawing much larger crowds than normal to Animal Kingdom. So for me, no, I am not more likely to stay inside a Disney hotel because of this. Many other factors are much more important in affecting my choice.
Just another example of the rich getting better access/privilages than the rest. And the gap gets bigger!
Filing for a patent may be a pre-emtive strike against Universal, Busch, or other theme parks from adopting the technology and gaining an advantage over Disney's implementation of their FastPass system. It may or may not change the current system. That being said, I do favor a tier system where people with Annual Pass and, or stay on property can be given an advantage of getting FastPass easier or quicker than the average visitor. I am fortunate that I can afford to stay on property when I visit and I am an annual passholder at Disney and Universal. Passholders should be given some sort of "perk"(i.e. FOL access) for their loyalty. If I stay on Universal property, I can use my room key as a Universal Express access. I don't have to be a passholder to take advantage of this perk, but, I believe there should be some added benefit or perk for a passholder in this regard (at Disney parks). The debate will continue, even if the FastPass changes are minimal, somebody won't be happy.
I guess the next step is a "reservations system" wherein you must reserve a time slot at each attraction 30 days in advance - for a fee, of course...otherwise, it's to the back of the "unwashed, unmoneyed" line for you, as in "Get back to steerage, you third class passenger, you!" Bad move, selling "premium fastpasses." This is one goose that's getting tired of giving up the golden eggs! As for passholder perks, you got them when you paid a substantially discounted price for multiple accesses!
Why ruin a nearly flawless system? Looks like they're being Universalized!
I think that setting up tiers is really a step away from what Mr. Disney envisioned for his parks. They were supposed to be a mecca of fun for everyone, not just the rich and elite. I can't afford to stay in Disney hotels when other hotels in the area are less than half the cost. If that also means that now, I'll have to wait longer in lines, it would affect my decision to visit that park all together.
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