Published: October 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM
The only reason Disney introduced Fastpass is that they can earn more money. Make no mistake, I like it, but Fastpass costs the company money and Disney isn't known for giving something away and that is ok.
With Fastpass you stand virtually in line. During that time you need to shop and eat to put more money in Disney's pocket. It works otherwise they system would have left the parks. Disney likes it and most guests like it except for the fact that the different queue's get more and more divided so the different cattle doesn't meet.
Disney had quite some time tweaking and playing with the system resulting in a strategy to spread the cattle out to attractions that don't get enough customers when in other parts of the park it's crowded. They introduced extra Fastpasses to spread that crowd in another direction.
Now there is one group of guests that is the ultimate cash cow and that are the nice folks that stay in Disney's pricy hotels and have a tough time to exit Disney's realm. They eat, drink, shop and do everything at Disney. What if this group could do that even more? They could stay even longer in their hotel and have more character breakfasts, lunches and dinners? And they also could go to the parks and benefit from that wonderful Fastpass? Awesome, let's do that, Disney must have thought, because now there is a group that picks those tickets up and at 11 am they are all gone. But, someone else said, what about the locals and the not so nice folks that rent homes or stay off property? Will they feel second rated? Yes they will.
Disney only has Fastpass at the most popular, often e-ticket rides, and there are not a lot of them. At least not enough to make everyone happy. So what to do? Build more e-ticket rides? Nice but too expensive, the investors said, we have a lot of old attractions and our guests don't want us to take them out and we don't want to spent the money. Why not install Fastpass at more attractions, also the once who don't need them? We can give out more passes, spreading people between c-d-e-ticket rides. We know where they are and can manage them that way and they still feel appreciated. Great idea but still there are rides that will get more people than they can handle. Install something of a distraction so people won't notice we treat them as cattle, is the solution.
This is a investment in the future. Now it feels retarded (and it is) but people get used to manage their vacation like they manage the rest of their lives. At that point a Disney is managed from start to finish. The time you wake up, get a character breakfast you booked, get to Magic Kingdom at 11 am to be on time for Stitch, go to Dumbo, meet Ariel at 1 pm, eat at 1:30 pm at the beasts castle, etc.
Disney has an easy time to manage their staff and maintenance and the guests will have a "perfect" vacation, managed and predictable but perfect.