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Vote of the Week: Disney World completes the Fastpass+ switch... but which system would you prefer?

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Published: January 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Walt Disney World has closed its paper-ticket Fastpass ride reservation system at the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in favor of its new, online Fastpass+ system. Now we're hearing that the switch will happen at Epcot at Disney's Hollywood Studios next week.

Toy Story Midway Mania

With Fastpass+, visitors staying at one of Walt Disney World's on-site hotels can make ride and show reservations in advance of their visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. Guests not staying on-site can make reservations the day of their visit, using kiosks located throughout the park.

Unlike the old Fastpass system, you don't get a paper ticket with a return time when you make a reservation at one of these new kiosks. Your return time now is associated with your park admission ticket (or MagicBand, if you're staying at a Disney hotel) in a central database. So you just touch your ticket or MagicBand to the Fastpass+ stanchion at the attraction's entrance at your designated return time, and you're good to go.

That means that some visitors using admission tickets they bought years ago will need to swap their old tickets for the new chip-carrying ones. Even if you're not planning to use the Fastpass+ system, you'll need the chip-enabled tickets to get past the parks' new entrance system. So if you're using old no-expire tickets for your next Walt Disney World visit, plan to arrive earlier to make that switch at any park ticket booth.

Magic Kingdom MyMagic+ entrance

Two other big changes from the old Fastpass system: You can select (and change!) your return time — it's no longer the take-it-or-leave-it next-in-order time that Fastpass gave you; and (here's the big one) you're limited to just three reservation return times per day. Right now, all three Fastpass+ reservations have to be in the same park, but that's expected to change eventually. But the new three-reservations-per-person limit will change the way that many experienced Disney visitors will go through the parks.

Under the old system, you could get just one Fastpass per admission ticket when you entered the park. You could get another Fastpass two hours after that (or less, if your Fastpass return time was less than two hours in the future). By devising or following sometimes complicated schedules through the park, many well-informed Disney visitors could get half-a-dozen to a dozen, or more, Fastpasses during the day.

Since it's a change from the familiar, Fastpass+ might seem more complex than the original Fastpass system. But since you're limited to just three FP+ reservations per day, and can make them all at once, the new system actually simplifies a Disney World visit considerably. Forget about sending one member of your party ahead with a handful of your admission tickets to go get Fastpasses for everyone, several times a day. If you're staying at a Walt Disney World hotel, you can make all your reservations online, before you leave home. And if you're not, you can take care of all your reservations for the day at once, when you enter the park. You don't need to keep track of when you're eligible to get another Fastpass, or hike all the way across the park to get the Fastpasses for the ride you want reservations on next, either. You can make or change Fastpass+ reservations at any Fastpass+ kiosk, or, if you're staying on-site, with Disney's My Disney Experience mobile phone or tablet app.

Even though you can use only three Fastpass+ reservations per day, but that doesn't mean you can only make three reservations. Remember, you can change Fastpass+ reservations. So if you get to a location where you have a Fastpass+ return time, and see that the ride or show is a walk-on, don't waste one of your three return times by using it then. Look for a nearby kiosk, or cast member with a iPad, and switch that reservation to another attraction — one with a more substantial wait time.

For visitors, the point of Fastpass+, like Fastpass before it, is to save you time waiting in line. So you'll want to use your three reservations on things that otherwise would have demanded a long wait time during your visit. In addition to popular rides with traditionally long waits such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Soarin', Test Track, Midway Mania, and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, consider spending your Fastpass+ reservations on things such as reserved viewing spots for the Magic Kingdom fireworks and slow-moving character meet 'n' greets, if those time spots are available.

If you're not staying on-site, you'll improve your chances of getting these most useful reservations is you go to one of the Fastpass+ kiosks as soon as the park opens. Here's where you will find the kiosks:

Magic Kingdom

  • Main Street — Town Square Theater
  • Tomorrowland — Stitch's Great Escape
  • Fantasyland — Storybook Circus
  • Fantasyland — Mickey's Philharmagic
  • Frontierland — Near the restrooms next to the Diamond Horseshoe

Epcot

  • Future World — Next to the wait time tip board
  • Future World — Innoventions West Breezeway
  • Future World — Innoventions East Breezeway
  • Future World — Mission: Space
  • Future World — Soarin
  • World Showcase — International Gateway

Animal Kingdom

  • Discovery Island — Creature Comforts
  • Discovery Island — Disney Outfitters
  • Africa — Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Asia — Kali River Rapids
  • Asia — Expedition Everest
  • Dinoland USA — Primeval Whirl

Hollywood Studios

  • Hollywood Blvd — Next to the wait time tip board
  • Sunset Blvd — Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Animation Courtyard — Voyage of The Little Mermaid
  • Streets of America — MuppetVision 3D

Keep in mind that you might find a shorter wait to use the kiosks by heading to the back of the park, if you're not among the first in to use the ones nearest the front.

If you are staying on-site, you might think that you don't need to get up early to beat the crowd any longer, now that your Fastpass+ reservation times are secured in advance. You could sleep in, but you'll be missing what might become an even better time to ride the park's most popular attractions, as Fastpass+ pulls many "day visitors" straight to the kiosks first thing in the morning, keeping them from the attraction queues.

Over the next months, we'll learn how Fastpass+ affects guest flow through the parks, as hard-core Disney fans are now limited to three reservations, and Disney keeps fine-tuning the distribution of Fastpass+ times among hotel guests and day visitors as well as how much capacity to leave for visitors in stand-by lines.

Our question for you is this: Which system do you think you will prefer? Would you rather have seen Disney stick with the old, take-it-or-leave-it paper Fastpass system, or more flexible, online, but limited-to-three-total Fastpass+ system?

We're pushing the leaners here, with no options for "Neither" or a Universal-style unlimited front-of-line pass. We're asking you to pick one or the other, based on your experience and what you've read about the systems.


Let's hear your thoughts about Fastpass+, in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From 98.162.245.45 on January 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM
A couple of things-
I had to convert my non-expiring ticket last October. I was able to get into Animal Kingdom with my old ticket (one of the roaming cast members up front was able to scan it to let me enter), but I was advised to swap it out on my way out of the park. It was a funny experience walking up to the front gates with my old ticket, seeing the new ticket scanners, and thinking, "gee, how are they going to let me in?"

My beef with Fastpass+ is reserving only rides at one park. I like to hop between parks (sometimes going to all four) during the day. True, fastpasses tend to run out for attractions later during the day, but I've never had a problem getting one for Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain later during the day. I definitely despise waiting in line at Space Mountain because it is so claustrophobic and dark.

If they are going to limit Fastpass+ to one park, then they need to drop the fee for the Park Hopper Option (which will happen when goats can sing) or at least reduce it.

Robert - Do you know if it would be possible to reserve one or two rides in one park for Fastpass+, then use your third later during the day? Or is it a all or nothing deal?

From Tyler Stover on January 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM
I wish "Just wait in one single line that will consistently move because they aren't trying to shoehorn a second line of reservations into it" was an option. AKA No Fastpass.
From Melanie Howe on January 17, 2014 at 6:32 PM
I completely, totally agree with Tyler!!!

That being said, I have to agree that I, much to my surprise, voted for Fastpass+. On the face of it, if it works as described, it actually sounds much more relaxed and less frantic than the old Fastpass system that I HATED. We'll see....

From 209.44.133.160 on January 17, 2014 at 6:47 PM
Fastpass+ was a bad idea. Disney should have taken the billion dollars plus that they spent on Fastpass+ and Magic Bands and used it to create more E ticket rides instead. Disney could have built a total of ten Expedition Everest quality attractions for what they have spent developing Fastpass+ and Magic Bands.
From Gabriel Schroll on January 17, 2014 at 7:00 PM
I don't live in Orlando any longer, but having been an annual pass holder for many years, I just go for the atmosphere. Disney parks make me feel good, and as with a lot of people, I enjoy the restaurants as much, if not more than the rides.

So having FastPass+ lets me reserve my favorite rides (the popular ones, let's just say) and take my time enjoying the park. I don't have to rush around. It's relaxing.

Of course, this is for the times I take a Staycation and treat myself to an on-site hotel (usually Port Orleans: Riverside).

FastPass is great, but I really prefer FP+, honestly.

I just wish Premium Pass holders would get 4/day. And heck, allow those $1000 gold passes 5/day. Why not? I know this may be outside of the guidelines there at the end, but I still think at a certain price point, you can surely get one extra Fast Pass. Surely.

Don't call me Shirley. :p

From David Ackerman on January 17, 2014 at 7:14 PM
APs still can't do advance FP+ reservations. You have to line up with the other "day pass" folks to use a terminal. No smart phone, no do it at home. Unless you are in an on property hotel, you are screwed.

As far as I could see this wee, all the FP+ is doing is creating yet another line to wait in to use a terminal to know when to go wait in a different line.

They spent how much for this turkey? Just think how many new or refurbished attractions they could have had for the same money.

Where's my newspaper? (rolling it up) Bad executive! Bad Executive! Go sit in your corner!

From Dan Heaton on January 17, 2014 at 9:10 PM
It's not even close for me. Limiting Fastpasses to three, tiering them in certain parks, and (currently) not allowing off-site guests to book in advance make it a downgrade with the new system. Plus, you're reliant on a glitchy system, and Disney's IT history is spotty at best.

I do agree that the best solution would be removing FP completely and just going to straight stand-by. Even when you waited a while, the lines would move consistently. The problem is that Disney hasn't built ride capacity to keep up with demand, so they have to use tricks instead of building new attractions.

From 94.206.65.161 on January 17, 2014 at 10:27 PM
It is terrible that you are limited to Fastpasses in one park per day. We always park hop, but this will have me second guessing spending the extra $ if I won't be able to ride anything at our second or third park of the day.
From Sylvain Comeau on January 17, 2014 at 11:21 PM
The poll results say it all, don't they? Disney wastes a billion bucks on this crap, and the majority still prefers the old system! Brilliant, guys. Just brilliant.

Here are a few things I loathe about this new money waster:

* There will be an insane cluster around the handful of kiosks every day. In the old days, people were distributed around the park at rope drop, some in line, some getting fast passes. Now they'll be fighting over the measly few kiosks in order to make their reservations. Plenty of people will hold up the line for long minutes while they mull over their options, whereas in the old days, they would have gotten their FPs in seconds. What a mess.

* Disney charges us extra for the park hopping option, but now it will be impossible to get any FPs for your second park of the day. Enjoy all those 90 minute waits at the most popular rides! This system is set up as if park hopping didn't exist; I guess incorporating it into the system was just too much trouble for the programmers, so they said "screw it, just leave it out." Oh, gee, thanks.

* Being limited to three FPs per day is a joke. FP +? It's more like FP -.

* Very few people see the joy in micro-planning your day weeks or months in advance. This is a vacation, not a workday.

And last, but not least...

* Disney has reportedly put projects on hold because of the tons of money that this system has already gobbled! So enjoy it, because this is what we're getting INSTEAD of what we really want, i.e. new or plussed rides and attractions!

From Sylvain Comeau on January 17, 2014 at 11:25 PM
From 209.44.133.160 on January 17, 2014 at 6:47 PM NEW!
Fastpass+ was a bad idea. Disney should have taken the billion dollars plus that they spent on Fastpass+ and Magic Bands and used it to create more E ticket rides instead. Disney could have built a total of ten Expedition Everest quality attractions for what they have spent developing Fastpass+ and Magic Bands.

So true! Hell, I would take just a functioning Yeti over this garbage any day!

From 109.152.109.218 on January 18, 2014 at 2:11 AM
The biggest problems for me is the fastpass+ groupings they do at Epcot and Studios. You can only pick one fastpass+ out of Soarin' and Test Track, and one of out Rockin and Toy Story Mania. There are rarlely queues at the other attractions in the studios when we go in September so for us the new system will mean only really having one useful fastpass... Matt.
From 98.17.117.196 on January 18, 2014 at 2:16 AM
This is my concern.... my one main concern.... and Robert I'd love it if you had feedback on this:

We are going with a family of about ten people at once this May. How hard is it going to be to go to a kiosk (we are not staying on site) and get all ten of us the same three rides and return times? I'm concerned that this new system could cause me to go on and get like five of us reserved for something and then when I start the next five the times are not available or something. It will be important that this new system allows people in big groups the ability to all ride together (because what fun is it if I get a fastpass for something that the rest of the group does not).

From Mike Rhodes on January 18, 2014 at 4:52 AM
Like several people here, I think I would have preferred them to spend the money on new attractions. My first experience at WDW was in 1990, before FP, it was in July, the queues were long but they moved constantly (that built up anticipation and excitement, and the constant movement avoided frustration), now they are held up with a constant flow of fastpass users.

On vacation/holiday I really don't want to have to plan everything, we have to do that at work, I just want to chill and relax. Admittedly, I do use fastpass (if it is made available then you are silly not to!) and I can see that being able to get them all at one location is easier than having to hike about the park getting them from various locations throughout the day. Though what will the queues be like at the fastpass+ kiosks, I agree with Sylvain - surely with all that choice people will take ages deciding the time/attractions?

One question - I could easily see myself forgetting which time was booked for which three attractions - do you have to remember those times? refer back to the kiosks if you forget (and queue)? or are you given some kind of printout?

From 86.180.8.196 on January 18, 2014 at 5:05 AM
Get rid of fastpass altogether. Like others have said, on vacation I don't want to be worrying about booking things AND the normal lines would move faster.
From 109.163.234.2 on January 18, 2014 at 6:22 AM
My wife and I usually stay at Disney World anywhere from 14 to 18 days and usually have the deluxe dining. We spend A LOT of money there. For Disney to dictate that we can only get three per day again reminds me they are only in this for the money, not for the family. That means that when we got to Magic Kingdom we can only ride Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain once each with a fastpass. We typically use at least 5 a day and at the most 10-12. We broke a record I think with riding Expedition Everest 40 times in one vacation with our kids. So now we will be forced to wait in a really long line if we want to continue riding as many times as we use to.
Disney execs., I beg you to listen to the people who pay your rent. The poles don't lie. Most people DON'T like the new system.
From 178.217.187.39 on January 18, 2014 at 6:35 AM
One thing I forgot to add. For the people like myself who purchase the photopass+ so you can have the digital downloads of the ride/attraction pictures. There will be no way that you can get as many pictures with the new system vs the old system. Last visit we had about 300 pictures to download and maybe a little less than half were attraction pictures. Now with the photopass+ system I can bet any amount of money that we will not get as many on the next visit. So not only will I get to ride less but I will have less pictures/memories of my vacation.
From Anthony Murphy on January 18, 2014 at 7:52 AM
I am still not getting why people hated the original Fastpasses? I found it was extremely fair and not that complicated. Seriously, I don't understand what was so complicated about showing up to an attraction, getting a fastpass, and coming back.

The one thing I do not like is the three attraction limit. If that was the case, we would have all our fastpasses done by noon and get on less rides. I hope they change this part.

From 68.81.47.42 on January 18, 2014 at 7:54 AM
Thank you for writing an informative article. You are completely missing some very critical aspects of this new system, however, and how it will (negatively) impact families like ours.
We are 15 year DVC members and recently renewed our Premium Annual Passes for the 11th straight year. If you do the math you will come to the same conclusion we have and that is we are heavily invested in making Disney World our annual vacation destination.
This new Fast Pass+ system is really about Disney finding a hi-tech way to raise prices as with the strict limitations of 3 fast passes per day in one park only along with the new "Tiered" attraction aspect, it will guarantee that extended vacations from our "norm" will be required now to do what we were able to do before.It effectively eliminates the entire purpose of having a "Premium" annual pass because "Park Hopping" is a useless aspect of that higher priced pass.
If you recall the old dining reservation system and the inherent issues with that (guests making multiple reservations they never intended to keep)this new FP+ will have similar issues,as there is no penalty for people making FP reservations and then deciding to be "no shows".
This new FP+ system needs to be completely rethought as the very people Disney should want to attract are like us...DVC members highly invested with multiple annual vacations at Disney World. This new highly restrictive FP+ program makes us question the value of our investment.
From 72.238.178.23 on January 18, 2014 at 8:37 AM
I absolutely hate the new system that they are currently testing
From Anon Mouse on January 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM
I like the limitation to three Fastpasses. It ensures a fighting chance that people can get on a more popular ride, more can take advantage of the FP, and you can select a ride in advance and change them instantly. I just wonder how long are the standby wait times. Eventually, they have to add more attractions by at least 30% to increase the FP to four per day per park. Or maybe they need dynamic notification to encourage better crowd control and ride attendance since the guest should still wait in the Standby line and can not rely solely on FP as some have done. A combination of wait strategies must be considered.

They should give people an option to print a receipt to remind them of their FP times. I do think the tickets are a waste of paper. Most times, one ticket per party should have been enough.

From 71.251.175.240 on January 18, 2014 at 10:53 AM
For people who live outside of Florida and shell out big bucks to stay on the property, we were fuming when we arrived to find that we could only get 3 passes in one park a day. Before, we were able to ride everything in all parks numerous times, which is what we most looked forward to. All the extra paid for park-hopper was a waste. And then to find that the rides we had to pick were categorized (ex: we had to pick one out of three big ticket rides, then the other two from the "lesser" rides) was the last straw. It's a terrible system for those of us who want to make the most out of our trip.
From Robert Niles on January 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM
A quick bit of advice to anyone concerned about using the new kiosks: Find a cast member with an iPad (anywhere in the parks!) and ask for help. They're logged into the Fastpass+ system and can help you set up and change FP+ reservations. And if you hit a bug, they're can help navigate you to a solution or workaround a lot faster than you would standing in front of a kiosk by yourself.

You're paying for customer service here. You're well within your rights as a consumer to take advantage of that, and ask for a human being to help you with this.

From Sylvain Comeau on January 18, 2014 at 1:12 PM
This is a "one size fits all" system that doesn't fit anyone's needs. Superficially, it looks more flexible than the old system. But in fact, the old system was far more flexible because you could get and use fast passes according to your needs and preferences, at least until they ran out (and they can still "run out" under this new system).

For example, in the old days, a family with kids could get one fast pass after another for Peter Pan, a ride that is notorious for long lines. Under this system, that is impossible. Other posters have provided plenty of other examples.

To all those who complained on this thread, thank you for expressing your concerns. But is Disney reading this? I urge you to complain to the Walt Disney Company directly. They are the ones who are shoving this system down our throats, without consulting their fans and guests. They are the ones who spent a fortune on this instead of new rides. They need to hear from us that we hate this system.


From Sylvain Comeau on January 19, 2014 at 12:28 AM
The following post is from another thread about FP+, but that thread was archived, so we can't respond to it:

Being a Disney cast member and actually working in The Magic Kingdom, I'd have to say that although I'm not a fan of the new system, it is definitely forward thinking. Sure your options are limited now, but just wait. Anything new always has it's fair share of bugs and needs tweaking. I expect 2014 to be a trail run of the new system the way it is now but come 2015, major improvements and issues that need to be fixed will be addressed. One of them being the limit of fast passes. I believe that Disney resort guests should have no limit, they are giving more money to Disney anyways. But rather, only off-property guests should have limits. I also very much dislike that online reservation deal. I believe that just takes the fun out of it. But as upset as most of you are, don't worry, things are going to change and improvements are going to be made to the system in the coming months. Disney had no way of knowing how the system would do without testing it out first so they could find the bugs. There's nowhere to go but up from here! This system obviously isn't leaving anytime soon. And considering Disney spent over a billion U.S. dollars, you know that they had the guests best interests in mind for the long run. They wouldn't implement and spend that much money on something if it wasn't an improvement and provided guests with a better, more convenient experience. And as a cast member, I know that guest satisfaction is of utmost importance and is the most strongly stressed value that any cast member learns during training. We care about your experience and we just need you to trust us on this one. So just be patient, as soon as the bugs are worked out, the system will be the best in the world, there's no doubt!

Here are a few choice phrases in quotation marks, and my responses:

"Sure your options are limited now, but just wait. Anything new always has it's fair share of bugs and needs tweaking."

Wait for how long? We are planning a WDW visit this year. So because we have the misfortune of landing on the year that this crap is being installed, we have the choice of either putting off our vacation, or just grin and bear it? Gee, thanks.
If the system has too many cramping limitations and bugs in it, why not leave the existing Fast Pass system in place and give people the option of choosing which system to use, until all those bugs have been ironed out? Maybe they're afraid that EVERYONE will just use the old system, and that would be just too embarassing after they committed so much money to forcing this crap on all of us?

"I expect 2014 to be a trail run of the new system the way it is now but come 2015, major improvements and issues that need to be fixed will be addressed. One of them being the limit of fast passes."

You expect? We're supposed to take the word of a supposed CM? Does that make you an insider who actually makes decisions? These supposed major improvements will really address everyone's concerns and complaints? Do you have a bridge to sell us, too?

"There's nowhere to go but up from here!"

That's because this thing is so awful that it can't possibly get any worse. I hope.

"And considering Disney spent over a billion U.S. dollars, you know that they had the guests best interests in mind for the long run. They wouldn't implement and spend that much money on something if it wasn't an improvement and provided guests with a better, more convenient experience."

Funny how such blind faith comes from an employee, whereas even the biggest Disney fans never expressed such sentiments, in any of the FP+ threads I've read. Don't be fooled, people, this has nothing to do with improving the guest experience. This system was implemented because it allows Disney to track our spending in the parks, and makes it easier for guests to spend in the shops and restaurants. It's all about Big Brother and selling more merch.

"And as a cast member, I know that guest satisfaction is of utmost importance and is the most strongly stressed value that any cast member learns during training. We care about your experience and we just need you to trust us on this one."

This is just too much. By all appearances, guest satisfaction was the last thing on their minds when they decided to put this in place. Were any real guests actually surveyed when this system was being designed? I've answered many guest surveys, online, on the phone and in the parks, and they never asked about FP+. Did anyone ask us a variation on the following question: "as a guest, would you prefer that the company spend a billion dollars on a new, high tech reservation system, or spend that same billion on new and plussed attractions?" By many accounts, their investment in FP+ HAS resulted in slashed budgets for future lands, attractions, and the 60th anniversary of Disneyland (a landmark event that is apparently raising nothing but yawns among the Disney suits).

"So just be patient, as soon as the bugs are worked out, the system will be the best in the world, there's no doubt!"

No doubt? I hear lots and lots of doubts expressed in this and other threads, and with good reason. When a company clearly cares about nothing but the almighty dollar, I have lots of doubts. It is certainly very hard to believe that this system will be "the best in the world" when it's already so heavily flawed coming out of the gate.

The irony is this: if they cared about something besides money, they would make lots more money. If they cared passionately about reinvesting in their parks, maximizing their potential and making them all world class destinations, their parks would enjoy a level of wild success that they can't even imagine today. They could increase their admission prices and prices for APs, and no one would care, because the parks would be worth every penny (as an example, Tokyo Disney Resort charges higher prices, but most agree the quality is worth it).

They wouldn't have to bribe people to come, with endless series of discounts and free dining plans, because people would be dying to come back again and again. And the parks would have the ride capacity to handle the crowds, because they would be chock full of great attractions, not just a handful of good ones and not-so-good ones, plus lots and lots of shops and restaurants.

There are many areas of crying need in Disney parks, but, instead of addressing them, they spent a fortune on FP+. Epcot has long-shuttered pavilions, and the World Showcase needs more rides. Several lame and unpopular "attractions" (e.g. Stitch, Sounds Dangerous, The Backlot Tour, Journey Into Imagination, and some of the aging stage shows, etc.) badly need to be replaced. And the Yeti needs to be fixed! All of these and more are being ignored, but FP+ and Magic Bands? Full speed ahead!

From 68.37.241.158 on January 18, 2014 at 7:01 PM
I used the system in October of last year. Had a few bugs that were worked out by Disney IT before my trip, but besides that had no problems at all. It requires a bit of planning before hand that's all.
From 54.204.242.178 on January 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM
We just had our first experience in Magic Kingdom with Fastpass+ yesterday. What a chaotic mess the kiosks were! Everyone was funneled into a room where several CM's with IPads were scanning tickets and making reservations. It was extremely slow-moving, even taking into account that it was a new system. The new system also seemed to artificially inflate wait times. It may have just been my perception, but we have been going to the parks since the inception of Fastpass, and it just seemed like ride queues were longer than they needed to be. I will reserve judgement until the kinks are worked out, but so far I am far from impressed with the new system.
From AJ Hummel on January 19, 2014 at 12:39 AM
When Fastpass+ was announced, I was completely against it. While I doubt I'll be able to pass judgment on it until I actually get a chance to use Fastpass+, based on what I've heard so far it should work well once all the bugs are fixed. It is still in the trial phase, but hopefully by peak season in summer it will be working as designed.

That being said, I would like to see the following changes to the system to make it both more appealing and closer to Fastpass:

-Total reservations are not restricted, but you may only have three active reservations at a time. Once you have used a reservation, you may go to a kiosk and make another reservation from those remaining for that day.

-You may use Fastpass+ at multiple parks on the same day, but advanced reservations may only be made for one park per day and your total active reservations across all parks is limited to three.

-All visitors may reserve times up to a month in advance of their visit provided they have already purchased admission tickets.

-Visitors staying on property receive extra perks including the ability to make reservations further before their visit, additional active reservations and/or ability to reserve attractions at multiple parks on the same day.

From Mark Hollamon on January 19, 2014 at 6:41 AM
I love the comments that FP+ gives you a fighting chance at experiencing all the attractions.

People, you just paid nearly $100 to get in the gates! You shouldn't need a frigging fighting chance to see ANY attraction. I am going into this as open minded as I can, but we have all of our family coming down in April and they are staying offsite at a vacation home, but already have $13K invested in this vacation between lodging, airfare, and park tickets.

If this new FP+ is not available to them or makes their experience any less enjoyable this is one family that will never renew their Premium Passes ever again.

Technology is supposed to make your life and vacation easier, not the other way around. Like I said....open mind with consequences prepared. We can do other things with the significant amount we spend each and every year at Disney.

From James Tacey on January 19, 2014 at 6:08 AM
I didn't think I'd say this reading all the stuff before it came out, but honestly, fastpass+ actually seems like a good thing to me. I mean look at how it works at the moment:

Step 1. You walk all the way over to an attraction you want to get a fastpass for
Step 2. Go kill time doing other things until your window opens.
Step 3. Go to another attraction to get the next fastpass you may want.
Step 4. Walk halfway back across the park to use your first fastpass at the first attraction.
Step 5 Repeat until closing time.

Or fastpass+
Step 1. Get 3 fastpasses (either before you arrive, or worst case scenario, on the morning you get to the park)
Step 2. Use when the time is due.

Done!

Sounds like fastpass+ gives you more time to enjoy the park rather then racing around the park commando style trying to get the most out of the day. I hope that the person who threatened to not renew their passes if their day was inconvenienced by fastpass+ takes into account how their now not being inconvenienced by regular fastpass.

I assume that they decided to limit it to 3 passes each because that's how many passes the average person actually gets, so it's a more level playing field for everyone. But even then, theme park insiders will know which rides are worth pre-booking (Splash, Space) and which are probably not (Pirates, Mansion) so the mega fan can't be to pissed about this since they'll still have their advantage, but the average visitor will still end up getting more out of the system.

People worried about park hopping needn't be either, because it's likely to be no different from when you park hop now and all the desirable fast passes are gone late in the day.

I got taken in too when all the fan sites were saying "You have to book your wait times months in advance!" "It's the end of the spontaneous holiday!" "It's 9/11 all over again!" but the reality of the system seems really promising.

From Anthony Murphy on January 19, 2014 at 9:39 AM
I felt that the old Fastpass gave people a fighting chance at rope drop. You had to make a decision on what you really wanted to go on. The get fastpass, kill time, ride, repeat was exactly how we did it. We were fine with that. Then again, we knew what Fastpass to get.

The one thing I do not get is what is the bottom line for Disney? How is this going to make them more money. I am going to start a question in the discussions about this, but what is this going to solve. We are big WDW fans and we are still going to go, but it would make me think that they are actually going to cause us to use less money (weird, isn't it?)

From 24.15.243.221 on January 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Everyone has their own vacation style and we always rent a home. My family visits Disney and Universal and also enjoy time spent at house and the pool. Our time isn't spent exclusively at Disney World. I've experienced the on-site experience when I've visited the parks with friends and I love many of the perks of staying on-site, especially the dining plan. But I've never felt like a "second class citizen" and I can't really say the same now. We've spent a lot of $$ at Disney as we vacation in Orlando every year, although we aren't DVC owners nor do purchase annual passes. We're always there at rope drop, collect our fast passes efficiently, and ride our favorite rode multiple times. Now I need to arrive at the park and stand in line at a kiosk to arrange THREE fps for the day before I even think about trying to get on a ride. I've spend extra $$ on park hoppers and a huge benefit of that has been removed. And, as others have said, I am traveling THIS year, I don't want to wait for Disney to work out the bugs AND hope the company plans on making improvements. All I can say is "Diagon Alley, here we come!"
From 209.44.133.160 on January 19, 2014 at 2:27 PM
Fastpass+ is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's a price increase disguised as a consumer benefit.

Under the old Fastpass system, it was possible to get Fastpasses for Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and Peter Pan all in one day. Seeing those four attractions in one day is no longer possible under Fastpass+ (unless you're willing to wait in insanely long lines for each ride).

Fastpass+ offers a lower quality product for the same amount of money. Therefore, Fastpass+ is a hidden price increase.

From 66.213.22.193 on January 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM
We have made many trips to WDW. We stay on site and we park hop. We always have a fastpass in hand. We never wait longer than 20 minutes for an attraction. I'd say we use an average of 6 FP each day.

We are scheduled for a trip next month. Now we will get 3 FP+, not 6. And only one (or 2) of those will be for a "tier 1" attraction. So I anticipate at least 4 more trips to the standby line than we are used to doing. I don't like that.

The technology sounds great. I just don't like the limit of 3 FP and the tiering.

From Gabriel Schroll on January 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM
I think the main problem is the limit of 3 per day.

Would it be so hard to say off-site guests get 3 per day, value guests get 4, moderate guests get 5, and deluxe get 6?

Also, annual pass holders should get 3 as well. They can go any time. They have 365 days per year to ride whatever ride they want, and I'd like to see most of the fast passes reserved for those out of town guests who have to save, plan, and take time off work or school to experience Disney parks.

But as was also mentioned, it's all moot if they don't fix, replace, and/or add new rides. Especially at DHS and EPCOT.

From 209.44.133.160 on January 19, 2014 at 5:31 PM
How about this idea for next week's poll? Should Disney have spent that billion dollars plus on: a) Fastpass+ and Magic Bands, or b) expanded ride capacity and more attractions? In other words: a)Fastpass+ and Magic Bands, or b) the equivalent of ten brand new rides that would be equivalent to Expedition Everest? Which solution do you think would have been more effective in cutting down wait times and creating a better experience for Disney's guests?
From 74.90.200.129 on January 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM
The bands are a disaster! In theory it works are vacation they did not work and getting help was a struggle! Disney must remember it's the experience that's Disney and the time we had was not Disney!
From 184.170.122.91 on January 20, 2014 at 12:12 AM
I'm terribly upset about this change. My extended family will be visiting Disney World in April. We have saved for this trip for quite some time. This will likely be my daughter's only childhood visit, and my son's last. Because if the size of our group, we will be staying off property. So now, three months before our trip, Disney roll this out and removes the old FP machines from the parks. I feel cheated out of the trip I had planned for my family. I don't care about a "more relaxing" vacation if that means that we won't have the opportunity to ride all the attractions because we aren't staying in a disney resort. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I'd really prefer to scrap the whole thing, save the money, and go when the kinks have been worked out.
From 71.2.138.110 on January 20, 2014 at 5:04 AM
We have been in Orlando for the last week, and on every visit to Disney just trying to get a fastpass+ seems to take forever. Ever visitor needs to see a staff member and then set the passes up and this is just too much trouble. Now the pass is set up at a central location then when you get to the rides you will find only a 5 or 10 minute wait and so that fasspass has been wasted as its just a walk on. I hate to think what it will be like in July.
From Doug Jenkins on January 20, 2014 at 6:03 AM
So I now must take a pen and paper or remember the time ranges? Don't like either of those options or maybe I just don't understand. Disney is already shutting out FL residents and people who stay off site as far as dining preference, now they are doing the same to rides. Terrible system.
From Jeffrey Britton on January 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM
My family and I love to go to Disney World. We usually go every couple of years for 10+ days. We always stay off site because that is the only way we can get the kind of accommodations we want and still afford to go to the parks. We are able to find 2 bedroom villas with a kitchen for less than $300/night. The kids have some space and we can save some cash by eating some meals at the villa. Accommodations like this on Disney property would cost more than double of my whole vacation just for the room! The Fastpass+ system is new and I think that many people that can afford to stay on site are not yet using the advance reservation system. When everyone that is staying on site starts making reservations in advance there will be nothing left for those of us who prefer to stay off site. This is my point. This system wasn't designed to help guests it is designed to take your money. The way this is going the only way you are going to be able to enjoy Disney World is if you stay on site. Our next trip to Disney World may be our last...
From Sylvain Comeau on January 20, 2014 at 10:54 AM
"How about this idea for next week's poll? Should Disney have spent that billion dollars plus on: a) Fastpass+ and Magic Bands, or b) expanded ride capacity and more attractions? In other words: a)Fastpass+ and Magic Bands, or b) the equivalent of ten brand new rides that would be equivalent to Expedition Everest? Which solution do you think would have been more effective in cutting down wait times and creating a better experience for Disney's guests?"

Great idea. How about it, Robert?

From 108.221.164.13 on January 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM
Very BAD decision. Did they hire the team's behind such brilliant ideas such as New Coke or the Ford Edsel? 3 Fast Passes per day for the prices they charge just to get in? Nuts. We have gotten as many as 20 passes a day ( all legally) just by timing them right. Why on earth would anyone pay those prices to ride 3 rides plus what other rides you can manage after standing in the regular lines. We usually averaged standing in the regular lines on 5 rides at the most per day. We have taken over 30 Disney vacations over the years, including our Honeymoon. Not happy.
From Anon Mouse on January 20, 2014 at 4:25 PM
"The way this is going the only way you are going to be able to enjoy Disney World is if you stay on site. Our next trip to Disney World may be our last... "

Why the excessive pessimism? Off-site guests can still use Fastpass+, but they are restricted to 3 per day. The on-site guests get 3 per day, but they get to reserve much earlier. The restriction to 3 FP per person per day means the On-site guests have no numerical advantage to getting FP.

Off-site and On-site guests can both use the dining reservations system. On-site guests are allowed to enroll in the Dining Plan, but there is debate on whether it is worth it.

As I see it, there is no clear-cut advantage that On-site guests have aside from advance FP+ and the Dining Plan. The Magic Bands make things easier and I see this as a long term plan to add more services like a cruise ship where inclusive and pre-paid services are included with the trip. Convenience will encourage more spending.

Once On-site guests are acclimated to the program, it can easily be transferred to the off-site guests with the Annual Passholders as the first in-line to get the service. Then the Off-Site mult-day passholders get their chance. The single park day tripper is the last in line to get the MB or not at all since their spending is most restricted.

I certainly hope more attractions are developed for such an expensive MagicBand program doesn't make sense without more rides to take advantage of FP+.

From 108.221.164.13 on January 20, 2014 at 9:27 PM
FYI: There is a new Facebook page, Love Disney Hate New Fast Pass.
From 99.225.77.12 on January 20, 2014 at 9:49 PM
Actually, I have to say that I welcome FastPass+. My last trip, back in November, we used regular Fastpass only 3 times: for Soarin, Splash Mountain and Toy Story Mania. So, according to this new Fastpass system, I will be able reserve those in advance without going to the actual attraction, which I found very inconvenient, especially in bigger parks like AK or EPCOT.

Oh and it means I can actually watch the fireworks from a better vintage point. I am actually happy with this. Waiting in line for 20 - 30 minutes with an amazing theming throughout the queue? Also, it mea s that I can totally control with restaurant reservations WHEN I will ride something (so many times I ended up rushing through my lunch or dinner because of that Fastpass that I had 3 hours prior that was just about to run out).

Do I think 3 is limiting? Perhaps. But I also don't think that riding Expedition Everest 20 times in a day is normal. But if that's what you want to do, use the single rider line.

Anyways… I will be using this system in May. I can't wait to see how it actually works i reality… and i am always staying at a Disney resort, so I will be able to reserve in advance.

From 24.239.50.142 on January 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM
I used the Fastpass+ system on a trip I took in December. It was great to be able to make my Fastpass selections on my phone, usually the night before, and not have to worry about the mad dash of trying to get to a ride to get a paper Fastpass. It was extremely easy to change a selection or time. I loved it. As for the limitation of 3 Fastpasses a day, I personally think its a more fair system. Everyone gets the same.
From 209.44.133.160 on January 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM
A Tale of Two Theme Parks: Disney vs Universal

My family recently traveled to Orlando during peak season. I wish I could take my family in the offseason when the parks aren't as crowded, but parents get in big trouble nowadays for letting their kids ditch school even for special occasions like this vacation.

We spent four days at Disney and one day at Universal Studios. We bought Park Hoppers for Disney and Park to Park access for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We didn't buy the Front of the Line passes at Universal.

The longest day we spent at Disney was 16 hours. The only day we spent at Universal was 10 hours. But in that 10 hours, we were able to experience 21 rides, including all of the highest rated rides. We never came close to riding 21 rides at Disney in any single day there, even though we spent multiple 16 hour days at Disney as compared to only a single 10 hour day at Universal.

Guess which day my family enjoyed the most? If you said Universal, you guessed right!

The Disney rides are great, but there are not enough great rides to satisfy the multitude of people that Disney attracts. How do wait times for Disney rides get to be 3 hour longs? Do 3 hour wait times happen by magic or by accident? Or do 3 hour wait times occur when a company doesn't reinvest enough money in adding new rides and expanding capacity for the most popular rides?

If Disney does not have enough money to invest in new rides and new capacity, how on earth do they have enough money to invest over a billion dollars in Fastpass+ and Magic Bands?

From 98.162.245.45 on January 21, 2014 at 5:10 PM
I want to know how Toy Story Mania at Disney Hollywood Studios can have a 120 minute wait time. Then I want to know why people are standing in line for a mediocre ride for 120 minutes. There's no way I would do that.
From 71.41.214.58 on January 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM
I thought fastpass+ sounded like it may be a good idea until we experienced it in Epcot and magic kingdom over the past 3 days. What a nightmare! You get to the park and get to stand in a 20 minute fastpass kiosk line to then select your choices with a cast member holding an ipad. We did this within an hour of park opening and Peter Pan fast passes we're already gone for the day. When resort guests can book 60 days in advance all the prime fast passes are gone and who knows if these people willl actually even show up at that park that day. The earliest fast passes we could get for Rapunzel character greeting was already well into evening hours. The fastpass return line was a 15 minute wait itself out into the park before you could even show your card. We witnessed constant problems and very upset people all day long at the park. And the flexibility to change your fast passes without standing in line to do so doesn't exist unless you are staying at a disney resort. You cannot access via your phone and have to write down your times or take a photo of their iPad screen.

Epcot still has regular fast passes and then fastpass plus for resort guests only. We tried to get a soarin fp around 10:30 am, again sold out for the day and 2 hr waits. We are moving to a disney resort for the 2nd half of our stay so I tried to use their disney experience app to book my fastpass+ for tomorrow for the high demand rides. System glitches wouldn't allow me to link my tickets and I had to spend 1/2 an hour on the phone with disney to manually do this and have them book our 3 fp+ only to find out Epcot has the tiered system so you can only book 1 "column A" aka in demand ride. The "column B" rides you would never need a fastpass for anyway. Things like the Frozen meet and greet fp+ is not offered and that was a 4 hour wait! I expressed my opinions to Disney over the phone and they really don't seem to care, some of the reactions from cast members to frustrated guests in the park were bordering on hostile. Not the happiest place on earth today!

We visit disney yearly and I'm pretty sure we will not be returning now for a number of years, the parks are so overcapacity now even in the "off season" and this just adds hassle and frustration. On top of that the parks are dirtier than I have ever seen them, particularly the washrooms - absolutely shocking for Disney. What a difference I'm seeing since our last visit only 9 months ago. Apparently the fp+ system cost came out of the custodial budget.

From 214.36.0.135 on January 22, 2014 at 7:42 AM
I haven't experienced Fastpass+ yet. But I don't know which parks I want to be in each day. I guess I'll have to make the reservations when I get there. So the great advantage of booking these rides 60 days in advance just doesn't mean much to me (yet).

I have always liked the park hopper passes. I like to visit one park and just to another park to see an evening show (such as Fantasmic). I'd like to be able to book a ride (Fastpass+) in the second park, ahead of time. That's not what I'm reading here.

After my vacation in April, I'll probably have a love or hate opinion of the new system.

George

From George Brungot on January 22, 2014 at 7:46 AM
I like the concept. BUT from what I've read, I see problems with it before I go on my Disney Vacation (April). I want to be able to have fastpasses for more than one park in the same day. Actually, I don't like the idea of guessing which park I'll visit before I get there. I'll start with EPCOT this time, but which park will I want to see on day #2? I have no idea. I've already booked dinner at EPCOT for day 1 and day 2.
From 209.44.133.160 on January 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM
Fastpass+ is a terrible substitute for expanding ride capacity and adding new attractions.

How did we get conditioned to believe that 2 to 3 hour wait times for rides are acceptable and normal?

Disney spent more than a billion dollars on Fastpass+ and Magic Bands. They could have built another theme park with that money.

From 69.69.4.249 on January 23, 2014 at 3:24 AM
YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET!!! I wish that comment related to how good that Disney World will become. But it's just relating to the greed Disney has towards it's guests. ZERO interest in guest experience or safety. 100% interest in short term profitability.

I forsee fastpass plus to only be offered to guests spending over $X per day. Maybe if you spend $2000/day in shopping/lodging/dining will you get some fast passes. If you're off site. You don't spend a ton of money. You're going to be stuck.

More vacation clubs. More hotels. Less attractions. More stores. Lower quality goods, food and services. THAT is the future of Disney as much as it breaks my heart.

From 216.53.232.222 on January 23, 2014 at 10:08 AM
Has it occurred to none of you that...

1. It is all a test. Clearly, people are pissed, and the feed back will be taken into consideration when finalizing all the features. For example, the limit if 3 passes and no park hopping was probably a transition policy. When both Legacy and Fastpass + were used at the same time, they flat out had to limit the passes. But now that there are no paper tickets, then once the system is working, and the rest of the permanent kiosks are installed ( there will be plenty), expect more passes and flexibility.

2. Time selecting passes in park now, in reality, roughly equates to the collective time spent acquiring passes before. Now you just wait all at once, in one line, to select them. And as more kiosks open (And all the rapid construction site pop ups indicate that more will), time spent setting up passes will reduce greatly. These things can't happen over night.

3. If there are less passes going out, wait times will be shorter. Subtract all the GAC cards from the equation too. Sometimes our understanding can be narrow minded. If there are fewer passes, or tiered passes, lines will be shorter and better distributed. Think of it this way, it will be more like it was before there was Fastpass. I hear reports at work that wait times have dropped 18% at DAK, while guest still use an above average amount of Fastpasses that guessed used on Legacy Fastpass. Even if we bump it up to 4 passes, all the lines everywhere will go down. Ultimately in, in Magic Kingdom for example, guest expectations are to ride 8.5 rides. Disney takes this surveyed average and uses it as their goal. IT happens all the time, when parks are busier than expected, park hours will extend to make sure most guest get those 8.5 rides in. But, with Fastpass+, it seems that not only are guest hitting the 8.5 in an average 8 hour visit, they pass it.

4. Legacy Fastpass gave the illusion of saving time, and too was built for profit. There's nothing more satisfying than feeling like you saved time. With Legacy, you were gambling that there would be a long line when you returned. More often than you think, an old fashioned Fastpass wasn't worth it relative to queue times. Any ride with a wait under 30 minutes was a waste of a pass. Fastpasses only saved time with attractions that had wait times approximately 45 minutes or longer the entire time you waited to return and at your return. Most guest used Fastpass when there was almost no advantage in the mornings or at night. Also, consider all that time you stood around waiting for your time to come up. You may not realize it, you you probably spent more time shopping or eating to fill time up between return times. Again, you never realized it, and that was the idea. Lastly, remember all those times you would walk across the park to get a Fastpass to only realize that the return time would not work because of meal plans, flights to catch etc? Also, how often did you collect a Fastpass and never use it because you were tired, or it rained? More often than you would ever imagine.

5. The average guest only used 2.5 Legacy Passes a day in an 8 hour day. Despite what you may think, most folks still get those 8.5 rides in on the old system. So with that 3 pass, you can fit more in.

6. The cost of the system is forward looking. In future installations in all the other Disney resorts, the cost of development and testing will be gone. It wasn't just an investment for Disney World, it was for everywhere. So those 10 supposed E Ticket attractions you would rather have? They would be split up with less than one in beach Disney park, considering Shanghai will also use this technology. Also, Universal is filing patents for similar technology. It's the way theme parks, and perhaps the world as a whole, will operate, using customizable RIFD technology. The investment would be inevitable, meaning it would happen now or later. Further proof, industry wide surveys show that guest want more interactivity with their cell phones and high tech interactive experiences.

6. If you fail to comprehend these points and still insist on hating change like this, you are in a vocal minority. Most guest ( and people on sites like this do not make the majority of the millions of visitors) don't even know what Fastpass is until they arrive, with both new and old Fastpass. Despite the emails, the videos, the websites, the announcements on busses and monorails, most guest show up, find out Faspass exist only after going through turnstiles. If you decide to postpone or take your business elsewhere, it would hardly change attendance numbers. But ultimately realize that the new technology is well received in surveys, with gust who arrive with a blank and open mind about their experience. Just like the DAS cards, the ones who hate it come in wanting to hate it.

From Sylvain Comeau on January 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM
The endless post above was obviously written by a Disney public relations representative. At one point, he writes: "Even if we bump it up to 4 passes..." If he doesn't work for Disney, then why does he say "we"?? Oops!

He makes all kinds of specious claims in his post, but here are just a few that stand out.

"If you fail to comprehend these points and still insist on hating change like this, you are in a vocal minority."

Is that the same "minority" who voted 65% against this crappy new system?

"Industry wide surveys show that guest want more interactivity with their cell phones and high tech interactive experiences."

At the expense of new and plussed attractions?? Did anyone ever ask us which we would prefer? As I said before, I answered lots of surveys, and no one ever asked! Why are new Disney projects on hold to offset the ridiculous cost of this unneeded reservation system?

"Just like the DAS cards, the ones who hate it come in wanting to hate it."

Patently unfair statement. We've heard from many people who express legitimate complaints because the system simply failed them, failed to answer the needs of their group. They arrived with an open mind (not "blank" in your phrase -- another insult) and the system failed them miserably. They didn't come "wanting to hate it"; they came hoping that it would work for them. It didn't.

"If there are less passes going out, wait times will be shorter."

Allegedly. So why are people in this thread (and many others) still complaining about wait times? Maybe because Disney should have spent money to improve ride capacity instead of forcing this crap on us?

"So those 10 supposed E Ticket attractions you would rather have? They would be split up with less than one in beach Disney park, considering Shanghai will also use this technology."

Is that the new math? Even if Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai each got one of those ten, that would leave seven new rides to be distributed between six state-side parks. Let's see, what would most guests prefer? New rides in every park, or a buggy reservation system that cramps the availability of Fast Passes? Hmmmm...

As I said before, I would take a functioning Yeti any day over FP+. Mr. Disney P.R. guy, tell us why show takes a backseat to RFID and tracking guests like Big Brother? The values of the company founder are just a joke to you guys, isn't it?

From Sylvain Comeau on January 23, 2014 at 12:03 PM
So he cut and pasted his endless post yet again below mine. Wonderful. I pity anyone who tries to wade through that ocean of drivel. And, P.R. or not, he admits to working for the company. So we're biased but he's not??

Since everyone has access to the internet, we don't represent some vocal minority. We represent theme park fans, pure and simple.

Let's be reasonable here. Even if they don't take the time to write on theme park message boards, is it reasonable to claim that the average park guest would PREFER a new reservation system instead of new rides? Why do guests come to a park? To tinker with a reservation system, or to enjoy rides and attractions?

And yes, there are many indications that the company robbed Peter (new rides and projects) to pay Paul (MyMagic, FP+).

Why has there been nothing new announced for Epcot, DHS, and the entirety of the Disneyland Resort? Why have budgets been hacked and slashed for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland (the anniversary is next year; surely they would have made splashy announcements by now, if there was a new nighttime parade coming, for example).

Would they reinvest as much in the parks if they hadn't spent well over a billion on a new reservation system that so many dislike? Why are unpopular, universally panned attractions and shuttered pavillions still sitting there, doing little but take up space?

From Ringmaster A on January 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM
This was my post. I work for both major theme park resorts in orlando. So I do know more about this than most. I am not a PR person. Disney is so controlling that PR Reps would not be found on sites like this in debates getting as petty as this.

Views on this site are, in fact a vocal minority. Nothing about this site, or anything on MiceChat is scientific or represents the average theme park guest. Polls, reviews and ratings on sites like this are specifically asking small group of people who are impassioned about the theme parks they love. I'd like to also mention any reference to the unfounded, un sourced article on Micechat about projects being cancelled due to Fastpass+ is as biased, unfounded and unsourced as said article.

Has it occurred to none of you that...
1. It is all a test. Clearly, people are pissed, and the feed back will be taken into consideration when finalizing all the features. For example, the limit if 3 passes and no park hopping was probably a transition policy. When both Legacy and Fastpass + were used at the same time, they flat out had to limit the passes. But now that there are no paper tickets, then once the system is working, and the rest of the permanent kiosks are installed ( there will be plenty), expect more passes and flexibility.

2. Time selecting passes in park now, in reality, roughly equates to the collective time spent acquiring passes before. Now you just wait all at once, in one line, to select them. And as more kiosks open (And all the rapid construction site pop ups indicate that more will), time spent setting up passes will reduce greatly. These things can't happen over night.

3. If there are less passes going out, wait times will be shorter. Subtract all the GAC cards from the equation too. Sometimes our understanding can be narrow minded. If there are fewer passes, or tiered passes, lines will be shorter and better distributed. Think of it this way, it will be more like it was before there was Fastpass. I hear reports at work that wait times have dropped 18% at DAK, while guest still use an above average amount of Fastpasses that guessed used on Legacy Fastpass. Even if we bump it up to 4 passes, all the lines everywhere will go down. Ultimately in, in Magic Kingdom for example, guest expectations are to ride 8.5 rides. Disney takes this surveyed average and uses it as their goal. IT happens all the time, when parks are busier than expected, park hours will extend to make sure most guest get those 8.5 rides in. But, with Fastpass+, it seems that not only are guest hitting the 8.5 in an average 8 hour visit, they pass it.

4. Legacy Fastpass gave the illusion of saving time, and too was built for profit. There's nothing more satisfying than feeling like you saved time. With Legacy, you were gambling that there would be a long line when you returned. More often than you think, an old fashioned Fastpass wasn't worth it relative to queue times. Any ride with a wait under 30 minutes was a waste of a pass. Fastpasses only saved time with attractions that had wait times approximately 45 minutes or longer the entire time you waited to return and at your return. Most guest used Fastpass when there was almost no advantage in the mornings or at night. Also, consider all that time you stood around waiting for your time to come up. You may not realize it, you you probably spent more time shopping or eating to fill time up between return times. Again, you never realized it, and that was the idea. Lastly, remember all those times you would walk across the park to get a Fastpass to only realize that the return time would not work because of meal plans, flights to catch etc? Also, how often did you collect a Fastpass and never use it because you were tired, or it rained? More often than you would ever imagine.

5. The average guest only used 2.5 Legacy Passes a day in an 8 hour day. Despite what you may think, most folks still get those 8.5 rides in on the old system. So with that 3 pass, you can fit more in.

6. The cost of the system is forward looking. In future installations in all the other Disney resorts, the cost of development and testing will be gone. It wasn't just an investment for Disney World, it was for everywhere. So those 10 supposed E Ticket attractions you would rather have? They would be split up with less than one in beach Disney park, considering Shanghai will also use this technology. Also, Universal is filing patents for similar technology. It's the way theme parks, and perhaps the world as a whole, will operate, using customizable RIFD technology. The investment would be inevitable, meaning it would happen now or later. Further proof, industry wide surveys show that guest want more interactivity with their cell phones and high tech interactive experiences.

6. If you fail to comprehend these points and still insist on hating change like this, you are in a vocal minority. Most guest ( and people on sites like this do not make the majority of the millions of visitors) don't even know what Fastpass is until they arrive, with both new and old Fastpass. Despite the emails, the videos, the websites, the announcements on busses and monorails, most guest show up, find out Faspass exist only after going through turnstiles. If you decide to postpone or take your business elsewhere, it would hardly change attendance numbers. But ultimately realize that the new technology is well received in surveys, with gust who arrive with a blank and open mind about their experience. Just like the DAS cards, the ones who hate it come in wanting to hate it.

From Ringmaster A on January 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Again. It blows my mind that some random person's opinion becomes fact. Just because one or two people post an opinion, about DAS or wait times doesn't mean it is true. One person, who goes to MK for one day and has a bad time doesn't mean they magically represent fact and opinion of the other 16 million plus guest who don't visit chat boards about theme parks.

All my points were logical break down of the situation with a little more insight. My personal opinion about things at Disney are mine, but the facts I receive, the daily conversation I have with guest and the daily operation of the parks I witness sure do add more validity than most people who post on here.

Why is it that opinions from people who know something inside and out and work with it daily has become chastised, evil doer cover up PR rep who must, with all conviction, be selling the Disney, even at it's worst? That's paranoia and conspiracy theory crazy talk. If that's the case, isn't it possible that corporate espionage might be the happening, and you and others are from Universal bashing Disney to sell itself?

And did I mention I work for multiple theme park companies? And that I love both, among many other parks around the country?

From Sylvain Comeau on January 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM
"Again. It blows my mind that some random person's opinion becomes fact."

But you love presenting your opinions as if they were fact...

What ever happened to "the customer is always right"? What I'm reading, in this and many other threads, is that the system is failing the customer/guest. The company can keep insisting that it's doing the right thing for its guests, but the decisions are being made by out-of-touch suits who never or rarely even visit the parks.

And the elephant in the room is still ride capacity. Why does Disney build new parks all over the world while undernourishing its existing parks? Why did they sink so many resources into FP+ when there are so many areas of the parks that badly need improvement (and have been left to stagnate for years and years).

With a straight face, you claim that FP+ will improve wait times. Even if that's true, that's nothing compared to the effect of new rides absorbing the crowds. I will keep harping about improved ride capacity because THAT. IS. WHAT. WE. WANT.

From Sylvain Comeau on January 23, 2014 at 1:19 PM
"That's paranoia and conspiracy theory crazy talk. If that's the case, isn't it possible that corporate espionage might be the happening, and you and others are from Universal bashing Disney to sell itself?"

Possible, in some cases. But most of us aren't posting anonymously. And by the way, I live in Montreal (notice my French name?) Guess what? Universal doesn't hire in Montreal.

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