Walt Disney World to allow unlimited Fastpass+ reservations
Published: April 2, 2014 at 9:57 AM
Walt Disney World this week opened its Fastpass+ advance reservation system to all park guests. Previously, only visitors staying at Disney hotels and selected annual pass holders could make reservations in advance of their visit using Fastpass+. Day guests had to wait to make their reservations in the park on the day of their visit, as under the old Fastpass system. (The difference being that with Fastpass+, visitors could reserve three return times at once, as opposed to being assigned a return time for one attraction at a time, as was the case with the original Fastpass.)
Whether you used the advanced reservation feature or got your Fastpass+ return times on site, you've been limited to just three Fastpass+ reservations per day, and all in one park. That's going to change, according to Disney Parks chairman Tom Staggs.
Staggs said today that Disney is working to allow park-hopping with Fastpass+ reservations. And that Disney soon will allow people to make more than just three Fastpass+ reservations per day.
How badly do you want to meet Anna and Elsa? Photo courtesy Disney
Visitors will continue to be limited to three advance reservations using the Fastpass+ system. But once someone's used those three, a guest will be able to make an additional reservation inside the park on the day of their visit. It'll work like the old Fastpass system at that point, where you're eligible for a new reservation once you've used your previous one.
That should encourage savvy visitors to try to book their three advance Fastpass+ reservations early in the day, so that they can use those quickly and start getting additional Fastpass+ reservations while they are in the park. Of course, if you're going to use one of your three FP+ resizes for a reserved fireworks viewing spot, for example, then you wouldn't be able to get any other FP+ reservations in the park that day, since the fireworks happen so late in the day. Or, if the only Anna & Elsa time you could reserve in advance was for the evening, you'll have to decide if you want to forgo opportunities to get additional FP+ reservations in the park for the certainty of getting that time with the Frozen princesses. So fans will be facing a large number of tradeoffs to consider with their Fastpass+ strategy, given these new opportunities.
What do you think?
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM
This appears to be he development that I was hoping for, in effect removing the issues I have had with Fastpass+ and making it much more like the old Fastpass but with some added features. I'll hold off jumping for joy just yet but I am greatly encouraged by the statement today and looking forward to seeing how it pans out over the coming months....
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM
So this is when the real challenge starts. Let the games begin!
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM
I think this is the news that everyone has been waiting for to make the new system just as good as the old one. Let's be real here...In the summertime and on holidays, guests were lucky to get Fastpasses for more than 3 attractions in a day, and the current Fastpass+ system certainly works fine for that while giving the desired pre-reservation advantages to on-site guests. By expanding and adding the unlimited option, it opens up the system to off-peak visitors who played by the rules and knew how to work the system to Fastpass half a dozen or more attractions in a single day. Call us "power users", "crazy people", or whatever you want, but I was one of those guests, and I'm thrilled to see that my upcoming trip in October will not require a dramatic change in touring philosophy.
By taking the reigns off the system, Disney is essentially mimicking the old Fastpass system in the virtual world while giving on-site guests that extra perk they've wanted to match Universal's Unlimited Express. The only thing that I worry about is that with APs and off-site guests now able to reserve in advance, what prevents them from blocking up the entire system and not showing up? Theoretically, there are a given number of reservations per hour/performance, so the old system and previous way the Fastpass+ system was managed, casual guests (not linked to a confirmed Disney Resort reservation) had to be in the park to get their Fastpasses. No shows probably happened, which was great for the standby guests, but those numbers were probably relatively small, and probably due to forgetfulness or sudden change of plans. Now with off-site and AP guests able to sign up before even entering the park, the no-show rate could get out of control, and there's really no way to compensate for it. Once the Fastpass+ reservations are gone, that's it. It's not like if someone didn't show up for their 10-11 reservation that an open reservation will become available at 11-12.
Disney was having serious issues with no-shows in their advanced dining reservation system, and countered the trend by collecting credit card information and charging guests who don't show up or don't cancel reservations within 24 hours. The Fastpass+ system doesn't really lend itself to something like that, so what's going to prevent guests from no-showing, particularly AP holders considering visits during peak days?
Aside from that minor concern, I can't be more happy to see this development, which was rumored all along, be confirmed.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Wow! Disney actually made things worse. I didn't think that was possible. Fastpass+ is already complicated and now they are making it more so. This is only going to lead to more guest confusion and headaches. Unless all of your FP+ advanced reservations happen before noon then you will never get anything good at the second park.
I was at Epcot last weekend. Tried to get FP+ at 11am. First of all you cant get FP+ for both Soarin and Test Track. They force you to choose. (Boo) Second by that time all FP+ reservations were gone for Soarin and the earliest I could get Test Track was 6:30pm.
If the parks are even moderately busy this is going to be useless.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Russell - Didnt see your comment before I made mine. That is a huge issue with the FP+ system. I wish I could find those stats about how many reservations are never used for a given attraction.
Maybe Disney will adjust the number of available reservations to account for that once they have enough data.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Let the math begin!
Here are the numbers we'd love to know:
What's the capacity for every attraction, over the course of a typical day?
What percentage of that capacity is available for hotel guests to book 60 days out?
If that's not 100%, what percentage is held back for all other guests to book 30 days out?
If those two numbers don't add up to 100%, what percentage of capacity then is open for guests to reserve on the day of operation?
And what percentage of capacity is never made available for FP+ and is held back for standby visitors?
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Eric...I don't quite understand your complaint when it comes to Test Track and Soarin'. The tiered system of attractions was absolutely necessary to spread people out. The old system actually did this by forcing you to use your first FP before getting a second. Guests were faced with a choice of going to Soarin' or TestTrack, and are faced with the same choice with the new system. If you were in the park on a peak day, you typically got a FP for one and the FP for the other was late in the day, if you got one at all. In essence, nothing really changes, except the fact that on-site guests get a 1 month head start on making reservation over everyone else. So the typical strategy of grabbing a FP at rope drop and immediately riding the attraction through the standby line isn't really needed anymore, since guests will walk into the park with FPs already in hand, and are more likely to rush to an attraction that they don't already have a FP for.
I would hope that Disney builds in a no-show rate into the system to gradually increase the number of available reservations per hour (at least for attractions---may not work for shows, parades, or restaurants). Companies already do this for events, movie screenings, and the like where they invite far more people than they could possibly handle assuming that a certain percentage will not show up. Once Disney figures out what the no-show percentage is, it probably won't be too much of a problem, but may be an issue for the first few months the system is in place. Remember, they just started allowing off-site and AP guests reserve 30 days in advance.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:04 AM
One more number to know: Is the percentage of capacity held back for standby at a given attraction higher or lower now than it was under the old Fastpass system?
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Robert, you mean the numbers that Disney will never release?
We're lucky to get full hourly attraction capacities from them. It's always been a secret as to what percentage of the attraction's capacity is devoted to Fastpass. Just based on observations, it looked like it was somewhere between 10-20% of the hourly capacity was devoted to FP.
The word was that number would not change, but I wouldn't be surprised if they stretched that up just a bit (maybe up to 25-53%) to allow for the tiered system. The argument would then be since more guests would be able to reserve in advance, fewer would need to use standby lines, thereby reducing the need to devote the current percentage allocation to standby.
My hope would be that no FP+s are held back for APs or off-site guests, and if on-site guests grab them all for a given day, then that's life, stay on-site. I'm sure Disney has run the numbers and has figured that even if every single resort guests makes their 3 reservations for every single day of their stay 60 days ahead, there will still be plenty left over for everyone else 30 days out.
I would think that since they are now allowing off-site and AP guests to reserve in advance, nothing will be held back for day-of reservations.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:18 AM
Disney World is now all numbers and no magic. Bet the kids are going to love all the lines.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM
First just let me say this: I'm a planner. I plan every trip we take to Disney and otherwise and usually have a general idea of the attractions we'd like to visit at a Disney park on any given day. However, my plans were somewhat flexible during our last few visits to Orlando, to allow for inevitable changes in what the kids felt like doing or how tired we were or whatever came up. This new system is going to take away any and all spontaneous choice from a day at the parks. What was already an intensive (yet fun I admit for those of us who like to plan) is going to because more complicated than doing your taxes! And what if your 6 year old doesn't FEEL like going on Pirates at 11:00am on April 20, 2015 when the time comes? You will be faced with the choice of reasoning with a preschooler (which we all know is futile) or throwing in the towel on your most carefully made plans. And what about the people who don't know the language or don't know that to have a chance at any top tier rides at the park without waiting 3 hours you have to plan months in advance? I'm just not sure I'm happy about all this even though I know in most cases people welcome another way Disney has come up with to manage crowds (as well as gather information on anyone who sets foot inside their parks...) There's my two cents for what it's worth.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM
Oh, algebra. The math of numbers whose values we don't know. ;^)
The thing is that Disney can adjust these percentages at will, and we're left to play a game whose rules we don't really know, as a result. With everyone now having access to early reservations, I think that Disney could eliminate the percentage of capacity held back for same-day reservations.
But the one number that Disney itself does not yet have is: what percentage of guests will make advance reservations? Does that percentage vary between hotel guests, APs, and day guests? If a significant percentage of day guests simply won't use the advance reservation service and expects to make same-day reservations, then Disney will hold back a percentage of capacity for them, to minimize guest complaints.
So I think the takeaway here is that these percentage numbers that we do not know are changing as Disney tweaks the system. Any lessons we learn now will need to change as Disney adjusts the system going forward.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Russell - I will disagree with you on being able to do both with FP on the same day. My issue with the tiered system is that even with the new unlimited FP+ it will be near impossible to get a FP for both attractions. I used to do both attractions all the time with FP. You could get to Epcot at 10 or 11, grab one FP (usually Soarin first), wait two hours and then grab the other. Even if the second one was late in day it could be done, even on moderately busy days. FP+ and the tiered system makes it impossible.
With this system you have to wait until all of your current three FP are used. By that time nothing will be available for the other one.
Robert - Oh the ways that the numbers could be dissected. Its similar to what I do for a living when I'm not seasonally slinging food. It is a fun guessing game to try and figure out that sort of information. You could get some rough estimates for some things just watching the entrance and counting the number of people going in to the ride. You would have no way of knowing which were resort, AP, or day guest though.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM
For me this is a positive change if it happens. I've avoided WDW like the plague due to the mess of FP+. But I've tentatively scheduled a WDW vacation for the spring of 2015 since I thought the kinks in the system would be worked out by then. I've seen previous rumors of the additional fast passes as your original three expired. I welcome it if it confuses the novice, since it will be easier for informed fans like us to use the system to our advantage, not unlike the old fast pass system where people didn't use it since they didn't understand. I could never comprehend that. In my first trip ever to Disney, not knowing the fastpass system even existed, I was able to use the system easily. There must be some really dense people out there if they couldn't understand the legacy fastpass system. It was so easy.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM
This is a good development and it addressed one big complaint about Fastpass+. At the Disney Blog, they mentioned they will allow park hopping with FP+, thus another complaint addressed.
My concern is one Fastpass per hour is very restrictive. This ties up 3 passes in 3 hours. Although you don't wait in line, this is virtual line waiting. Also, the selection of some attractions in some parks are rather lame. Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot have the worst selection of rides, and Epcot can't allow you to select Soarin', Test Track, Maelstorm, on the same day.
It forces you to use Fastpass on a lame attraction, tying up your Fastpass unnecessarily. I don't care to use Fastpass on the Imagination ride, but I can't select something else that I prefer to ride. I can't just select 2 good rides, which is better than 1 good ride and 2 lame rides. And now I can be allowed additional rides and I hope I can get Soarin' or Test Track as options if I couldn't get them before.
Disney needs to improve their ride capacity and ride mix to better accomodate the guests.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 12:10 PM
I'm not sure what days you've been to WDW Eric, but getting FPs for 2 Tier A attractions in a single day was not that easy. On peak days under the old system, Soarin' and Toy Story Mania FPs ran out within the first 30 minutes of operation. When the new TestTrack opened in late fall 2012, it was up there with Soarin' in terms of how quickly FPs ran out on busy days.
Similarly on slower days, you could get FPs to Toy Story Mania and Soarin', but if you didn't race to them after rope drop, you were probably out of luck in less than an hour.
The new tiered system prevents on-site guests from monopolizing the most popular attractions, but still allows them to get a leg up on off-site guests and AP holders.
With the new system, there's nothing preventing you from reserving Soarin', and racing to TestTrack at rope drop and riding through the standby queue. The way it was before, the prevailing strategy was if you were going to walk to an attraction to get a FP, you would also ride it through standby while the line was short (even better when they weren't enforcing return times). It didn't make sense to walk all the way over to Soarin' just to get a FastPass and then either wait for the return or go do something else. FP+ allows you to enter the park with FPs already in hand, so if you already have one for Soarin', you can race to TestTrack to ride through standby, and then go to Soarin' for your FP return. For me, this system is going to save a lot of walking and backtracking.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 12:24 PM
Anon Mouse brings up an important point that guests can only have one FP+ per hour return interval. That does serve has a huge limiter for "power users" who could legitimately hold 2 FPs at the same time (even after the enforcement of return times) since you can get a new FP 5 minutes after the previous FP's return window started. The system essentially prevents you from getting additional FPs until at least 3 hours after opening.
However, since theoretically a majority of guests will be entering the park with 3 reservations already, whatever is left over for the day should be relatively easy to grab after you've exhausted your first 3 FPs. It's going to take some investigation and experience to figure out what the prime strategy will be under the new system, which will likely change rapidly as people get wise to different touring plans, but I think it will eventually be a good system that will be about as close to the old system as one could have expected. For instance, as Robert mentioned, will people hold off on making fireworks reservations in favor of FPs earlier in the day hoping that there will still be FPs after they've gone through their first 3? Will guests shy away from return times for prime attractions later in the day in favor of lesser attractions earlier in the day?
I'm just glad they're announcing this now so I don't have to be a Guinea pig, and can instead gather information about how the system is operating and different strategies before trying it out myself in October.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM
BUT..Does everyone really want to wait in a slow fastpass + line every time after they've used one. I personally still rather just quickly get my pass from the kiosks than wait to awkwardly talk to a staff member on an ipad. Anyone else agree?
Published: April 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM
Great news. Both that off site guests have some access to Fastpass+ and that folks can obtain more than three Fastpasses in a day. You can tour the way you want: schedule everything for early in the morning so you can maximize usage, or sleep in and know you have most of the key things reserved for later in the day. Genius.
Russell, I really appreciate your well considered responses. Lots of great insight.
Overall, I am with Rob. My tentative plans for another visit to Orlando are for mid 2015... by then everything (including the crowds for Seven Dwarves, Potter 2.0, and Falcon's Fury) should be much more settled.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM
I can do the math... it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If you have two lines (FP and regular) with the same amount of people in them and they alternate every other turn, the regular line would move just as fast as the FP and vice versa. They may as well all be in the same single file line.
As long as they keep the FP line to about 20% of the people in the regular line, it will work. When you allow unlimited reservations after you have used the first three, it throws the entire balance out of whack.
If the additional reservations are only for park hopping and not the same park, it may work out.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 6:18 PM
Sweet! We can now go back to complaining about why the Seven Dwarves mine coaster hasn't opened yet.
Real question - Do we know if you can make the reservations from the My Disney Experience app? If so, can anybody do it? And if, if so, would it be possible to change your reservations on the fly while park hopping and such (regular non-resort ticket holders too)?
That would be awesome.
About Soar'in- unless I'm a bit toasted, that ride isn't worth it to begin with so there's no way I would waste a fastpass on it, nor ride it. Test Track all the way!
Published: April 2, 2014 at 7:47 PM
"The Math" per touringplans.com's site:
Take the Magic Kingdom as an example. When the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opens, the park should have around 27 FastPass+-enabled attractions, parades, and fireworks). Combined, those attractions should be able to give rides to around 35,000 people per hour (plus parades and fireworks). Assume half of that capacity is allocated to FastPass+, and the other half to standby riders. Over the course of a 12-hour day, that works out to around 225,000 FastPass+ spots available on those rides.
About 49,000 people visit the Magic Kingdom on an average day. If there are 225,000 FastPass+ spots available, each person can have about 4 FastPass+ reservations before all of the spots are taken.
However, if 75,000 people visit the Magic Kingdom during the same 12-hour day, they can only have 3 FastPass+ reservations each before all of the spots are taken. At 75,000 people, Disney could keep the park open longer, but it would take an 18-hour day (e.g., from 8 AM to 2 AM) to guarantee 3 FastPass+ reservations per guest. Keeping the park open costs money.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM
I'm super happy they decided to let day guests reserve passes in advance instead of waiting until the day of so we don't have to have a massive kiosk mess before our first ride of the day. All the other potential perks they are looking into is just icing on the cake! The potential of more fast passes would be nice, but just allowing me the to plan my three prior to the day of the visit was something to get happy about for me! We are going in May!
Published: April 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM
Hello. My name's Ty. I visit both the Florida and California resorts about once a year, and have been a fan of the Disney Parks my entire life.
I'll be honest; I haven't yet used Fastpass+. My next visit to WDW is the end of May and I'll get to try it out then. I've read through most of these musings, and been following the general response to the Fastpass+ system.
I live just outside Toronto in Canada, and I frequent Canada's Wonderland as the local theme park. If you haven't visited a Cedar Fair park and their fast lane system, let me tell you how awful it is: it costs at least $50 PER PERSON to use, and only works once per attraction, which excludes Leviathan and Behemoth (the two most popular rides which often post 90-120 minute wait times). It's beyond terrible.
Clearly Fastpass+ is an imperfect system, but all things considered, I think a lot of negative comments towards this system in terms of how it handles ride wait times are coming from selfish, whiny children.
Disney still has one of the best (and the only FREE) ride reservation systems, and they have many more and easily perturbed patrons. While the re-vamp may not have been their highest priority, clearly Disney is working hard to improve the new system they've developed, but more importantly, Disney is clearly listening to the complaints from guests and is taking steps to make them happier.
Can't we simply appreciate there's finally an even playing field to reserve rides, there are more attractions to pick from, (they may suck, but that doesn't mean there aren't visitors who'll enjoy the choice), and that this annoying testing is over and we can simply focus on enjoying on being at DISNEY WORLD. This is the happiest place on Earth - it's not about who gets the most Fastpasses or who goes on the most rides.
Maybe I'm completely missing the mark, and I'll totally be knocked down to Earth after I try this myself (as a day guest!) in several weeks. Maybe I'm a sucker, but I'd rather be optimistic and grateful for the free Fastpass+ service that is and only improving and focus more on enjoying the parks as they are. :)
Published: April 2, 2014 at 7:56 PM
Alright the problem is solved with Fastpass+ algebraic equations, multipliers, and powers to the tenth..... Just stay at one of the three on property delux hotels at Universal Florida, get the Express Pass for free, and go enjoy yourself on most rides as many times during the day as your heart desires in a fast line. The ease, the relaxation, the care-free attitude that a true vacation is supposed to be.... While fights, aggravation, and upset families doing math on vacation mind you....... I'll be singing yippie do da at Universal. Thanks Disney for bringing math to the all ready huge equation of why I don't visit your Orlando Parks anymore.....
Published: April 2, 2014 at 8:34 PM
Why doesn't Disney just start charging for Fastpass like Universal charges for Express Pass and stop all this madness?
Published: April 2, 2014 at 9:19 PM
This is definitely a positive change, but it isn't quite there yet. With the old system, you could get a new Fastpass as soon as the old one was used (technically as soon as the window opened). You shouldn't be required to use all three Fastpass+ reservations before receiving a new one, as that creates issues for those that use it on shows. Instead, why not make it so that each visitor can make an unlimited number of reservations, but only have three active reservations at a time? That way, after one is used, they can go straight to the Fastpass+ kiosk and add another attraction rather than waiting until all their current reservations are used. The tier system is good and should be kept, but this would allow someone who wants to ride two top tier attractions (for example, Soarin' and Test Track), to make one reservation in advance for as early as possible and then try for the second immediately after.
As far as unused reservations go, this could be solved by simply allotting a set number of reservations to each passholder per year. For example, if you assume a passholder visits 2-3 times a month, they could be given a grand total of 100 advance reservations for the year. All the current rules apply for when the reservations can be made, but if reservations are made and are not changed before their date, they expire and the passholder doesn't receive any compensation for them. The same could be done for multi-day ticket holders...someone with a five day ticket gets 15 reservations and if they don't visit the park on a day they made them and forget to change, too bad. Of course, unlimited reservations are still available at the park, but this would hopefully prevent the system from being compromised due to excessive unused reservations.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:05 PM
I'm very glad Disney is addressing the park hopper issue. It's quite a lot of extra $ for those tickets and guests that pay so much more should be rewarded a bit more.
On a side note; The big issue concerning everyone over Fastpass+ is the number of rides you can get in during a trip to WDW. My family and I have been travelling there for over 15 years, usually twice a year. We consider ourselves Disneyphiles and experts in all things about WDW. Last year we came to a realisation that we don't really want to come back to Disney for the rides. We just love the ambiance and beauty of the parks, resorts, and spending happy/quality free time with each other. And because we have been so many times we can do all the "must do" rides without the stress that seems inherent in accomplishing that. (I'm actually missing the "must do" resorts video right now). Sad.
Published: April 2, 2014 at 10:14 PM
Apple Butter, I feel the same way... Unlimited Express is like crack and basically kills any chance of us going anywhere else.
Published: April 3, 2014 at 7:24 AM
The reality is Disney World does not have enough new attractions to spread the crowds around. When you only have 2 (Or 3) attractions in each park that people are gaga over, there is going to be grid lock. There are way too many attractions at Disney that should be highly upgraded or just replaced. Even if Disney did decide to build new attractions it would take them 3 to 5 years…….Meanwhile down the road Universal has opened up Cabana Bay Beach resort, Transformers, Despicable Me, Harry Potter-Diagon Alley (almost open) and is doing site prep work for a King Kong ride and a Jurassic Park expansion. Oh, and I forgot they revamped and updated most of City Walk. I really wish people would wake up and realize how lazy the Orlando parks, aka Team Disney, aka the bean counters have gotten. Unless Disney can give me a FROZEN dark ride in the next year and a half…………..color me not impressed. I really don't want to spend half my day planning everything when I am supposed to be on vacation.
Published: April 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM
So, to my Disney mathematical geniuses, help a fellow planner out: We are going in June. I was planning (under the first FastPass+ system) to make all my FastPass+ Reservations in the evenings. That way, we could get to the parks early, hit some of the rides with shorter morning lines, and then have rides to go on in the afternoon with FP+.
NOW...I make reservations in one week, and suddenly I'm in a pickle. Do I make my FP+ reservations in the morning so that in case they open this up by June, I can get more FPs during the day? Or do I stick to my old plan?
Published: April 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM
That's really the biggest conundum right now, because it's impossible to predict how people will actually use the system. Will we see a return to the "power users" or will people just get their 3 reservations for the biggest attractions, and then not deal with the hassle of picking up more throughout the day?
For the summer months, I would be inclined to schedule reservations in the middle of the day when crowds are at their peak with the hope that when you've run through the 3 FP+s, there will still be some left later in the day. However, I would not have any expectation of getting additional reservations for the top attractions (Seven Dwarfs, Toy Story Mania, Kilimanjaro Safari, and Soarin') on the day you're there.
I'm hesitant to give specific advice, because it's difficult to predict what WDW visitors will do with these new rules. However, if I were visiting in 2 months, I would probably shoot for reserving three important attractions in each park between 10 AM and 3 PM (including characters and shows). Then, I would see what's available when those expire. My hope would be that reserved fireworks/parade locations might still be available or lower tier, but low capacity, attractions (like Peter Pan and Splash Mountain) might still have availability later in the day. You might even get lucky, and big rides might still have late night FP+s, but from what I've heard, most of the biggies are completely sold out more than a week in advance. That's the current report, at a time when the parks are probably a little slower than they will in mid-June.
Unfortunately, your visit will probably correspond with the early summer crowds and the new rules, and there won't be any definitive touring plans. Since you probably can't change your stay at this point, I would just try to make the most of it, but leave yourself open to take advantage of the new rules for unlimited FP+.
Published: April 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Anon, with regards to your question on whether to change or stay with your touring plan, I think it depends upon whether you want to sleep in or if you want to be at the parks early for rope drop.
If you want to sleep in, keep your schedule, and realize that you may not be able to get Fastpasses later on in the day.
If you're willing to be at rope drop, I would seriously consider moving your Fastpass times earlier, that way come late morning and early afternoon, you should be able to get more Fastpasses, even if they are for non-E or D Ticket rides.
The fact that there won't be much in the way of touring plans means that there isn't really a effective or ineffective way to go.
I would suggest experimenting with both during your stay. Then come back and write a TR. :)
Published: April 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM
Just got back from a WDW trip ending 04/01. Bad for us was the 3 FP+ & 'one park only' limits (which have been changed as of 04/04 - thanks Disney...:rolleyes:).
Biggest prob we had was overall bugginess of everything. My Disney Exp app was awful. Very slow and caused more probs than it was worth. Linking caused some tix to lose Park Hopper' option, FP+ res's disappeared prior to ride time & a meal res was lost. Spent too much time with cast members trying to fix issues.
Those issues aside, the FP system is geared toward those 'in-the-know' who will game it and get most FPs. The average schmoe who drags the family to WDW will be only using StandBy lines as all FPs will be booked out before the rope even drops...
Instead of focusing on data collection, customer tracking, & personalized marketing angles, Disney should've spent the $1Bil building a few more rides so there wouldn't be lines and therefore eliminate the need for the whole FP+ fiasco...
Published: April 4, 2014 at 7:29 PM
I will be at Disney World next month (in May) for 7 nights on property. I think the FastPass+ is a wonderful idea. I booked all my Fastpass+. One of the days I will be there, I plan to sleep in and enjoy the resort amenities. So I have everything booked late afternoon/early evening at Epcot. No need to be by 1 pm at the park in order to be able to secure something for Test Track 5 hours later! I am very, very happy about this. I know it will not be everyone's cup of tea, but I really believe this is an overall plus. No more worries, having to be extra early to secure something... It really removes the overall stress that used to be with the old FP system. And if someone has a quick stay at WDW, they can now do their first 3 passes in the morning and then do the kiosk thing, which makes it basically like the old Fastpass. I can't wait to see it "in action"!
Published: April 5, 2014 at 4:23 PM
This change is progress. We were at DW over New Years and the roll out was a bit of a nightmare. Untrained cast members and differentiated rules per park made wrapping your head around the changes quite daunting.
I too am one of the "crazy" ones who go off season and was accustomed to working the system, equating to as many fast passes as I wanted in a day. My largest problem with the new system was the inability to park hop. Why would Disney discourage visitors from spending more money on a park hopper when the consequence for doing so was losing out on opportunities? As an annual passholder, it made even less sense. It is glaringly clear (and has been since magic hours started)that Disney values guests who stay on property to those who pony up for the annual pass.
The ability to get more fast passes after you have used your first three is great, but the categorical choices do add another dimension to your decision making beyond that of "do I want reserved seating for the parade, meet Elsa and Anna, or make it on Soarin'?"
I hope that soon enough they can find a way to even out the playing field. Staying on property certainly makes them the most revenue and is their largest area of competition (accommodations in Kissimmee are easy to come by), but I don't want the good or new rides to sell out 6 months before I get there. It's hard enough to get into Be Our Guest, is the same thing going to happen to the new Snow White mining ride?
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