Disneyland also will begin enforcing Fastpass return times, starting next week
Published: February 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM
With the new return-time requirements, let's hope that you don't end up with FPs for returns at the same time, on opposite sides of the park, as I did at Disneyland Paris last summer.
Until now, you simply had to come back at any time after your Fastpass return window opened in order to get into the shorter Fastpass-holders' queue for a participating attraction. Starting Monday, you'll need to return within the specific one-hour time window listed on the ticket. Show up after your return time window closes, and Disney won't let you into the shorter Fastpass queue.
Disney World made the switch to prepare for its new Fastpass+ ride reservation system, which allows hotel guests to schedule visits to multiple attractions in advance of their visit. While many (if not most) visitors did return within their specified time window, more and more visitors had figured out that they could come back any time later in the day, which was compromising Disney's ability to keep the Fastpass queues as short as possible, as returns backed up later in the day. With Fastpass+, Disney wants more precision in the system.
Disney's not said a word yet about bringing FastPass+ and its NextGen reservation systems to Disneyland, which serves a much, much larger number of local visitors and annual passholders than the Walt Disney World Resort. But if Disney's going to provide a specific time window for a return, as opposed to saying "come back anytime after X o'clock," it simply makes sense for Disney to try to enforce that time.
That said, Disneyland fans, now you know. No more stashing Fastpasses through the day. It's use it or lose it time, starting next week.