Theme Park Insider

Vote of the Week: After a Year, What's Your Experience with Disney's Fastpass+?

March 27, 2015, 6:18 AM · It's been more than a year since Walt Disney World implemented its new Fastpass+ system for making reservations for its rides and shows in advance of your visit to the resort. Given the experience that many of us have had with the system, let's take this opportunity to vote on how it's working for us.

If you've visited Walt Disney World during the past year, you probably know that Fastpass+ allows you to make three reservations a day for rides and shows at the Disney parks, up to 30 days in advance of your visit. (It's 60 days for guests who've booked a stay at one of Disney's on-site hotels.) To take advantage of the reservation system, you must have purchased a Disney World theme park ticket and associated it with an account on the Walt Disney World website. Once you're logged in with a valid ticket, you can start making reservations within your time window.

Fastpass+ return at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

We recommend that you use the system to book a visit on the three attractions you most want to experience in the park you'll be visiting that day. (And you can see our suggestions on our theme park travel tips page.) Don't worry about times at first -- just get the attractions you want. That way, you'll be assured of getting in to see the rides or shows you most want to experience with minimal wait, allowing you a bit of peace of mind for the rest of your day. You don't have to rush around the park early in the day to get your first Fastpass, either. You can lock in three for everyone in your group at your convenience, before you leave home.

Now, if you want to play Fastpass+ at the advanced level, try to time your three reservations for early in the day, as Disney will allow you to pick up additional Fastpass+ reservations, one at a time, inside the park on the day of your visit. You can make or change Fastpass+ reservations in the park by getting help from cast members at designated locations in the park, or by using the My Disney Experience app that you can download for your smartphone.

If the attraction you selected is down, for whatever reason, during your scheduled time, the system will (should?) give you a "golden Fastpass" to use on any other attraction in the park, so you won't lose one of your three Fastpass+ line-skipping opportunities.

Okay, that's all good news. The bad news is that the expansion of Fastpass+ to dozens of attractions that never offered ride reservations under the old paper ticket-based Fastpass system has disrupted guest visitation patterns throughout the parks. High-capacity attractions that rarely had long waits before Fastpass+ now often do, as Disney uses the system to direct more guests to those high-capacity attractions, filling both their Fastpass+ return and stand-by queues. People who'd mastered getting the most for their money at Disney under the old system have had to start over and develop new strategies for getting on as many rides and shows as possible during their day.

And making Fastpass+ reservations at home isn't always the carefree experience that Disney promotes. If you want one of the really hard-to-get Fastpasses, such as the Anna and Elsa meet and greet, you'll need to be up at the crack of dawn exactly 60 days before your visit, logging into your Disney World account in an attempt to get one those just-made-available times before they're all gone.

Of course, not every Walt Disney World Resort visitor uses Fastpass+. As with the Fastpass system before it, many visitors just ignore the opportunity to claim reservation times for selected attractions, and choose instead just to use the standby queues as visitors have been doing at theme parks for decades.

For this Vote of the Week, we'd like to ask about your experience with Fastpass+. Have you visited the Walt Disney World Resort since the system went into widespread use in early 2014? If you have, did you use Fastpass+? Did you like the experience, or not?


In the comments, please tell us the one thing that you think other visitors should do to get the most from using Fastpass+. (Or tell us what you think Disney should do to improve the system — and no, it's not going away.) As always, thank you for being part of the Theme Park Insider community!

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Replies (45)

March 27, 2015 at 6:31 AM · Went to MK in June and Thanksgiving weekend 2014. June was my first time taking my kids, so the first time in MK since the early 90's. Never used the paper Fastpass. The Fastpass+ in conjunction with Magic Bands was great for us! Can't imagine not having it. As suggested, I learned in June that scheduling the FP times for early in the day is the best strategy. Was most beneficial in getting reservations for 7DMT that opened up just a few days before our November trip. This is long-winded, so I'll stop. Could and would talk about my MK strategy for hours. Thanks for the poll! Look forward to seeing the results.
March 27, 2015 at 6:31 AM · As someone who used to run around and score 5-7 fastpasses a day for my family, I was very skeptical of the limitation to 3. After using the new system the last two years though, I can tell you my day is much less stressful having those 3 key rides pre-booked and not having to spend all my time thinking of strategies of where to run to next. Instead we arrive in the parks and enjoy ourselves. Only downside is longer lines on former short line rides like Pirates. We've skipped that one both of the last two years due to long lines and our prioritization of Fastpass elsewhere.
March 27, 2015 at 6:35 AM · If you are traveling with large parties, don't be afraid to split up your fastpass reservations. For example, I was not able to get an "Enchanted Tales with Belle" reservation for our party of 9 before 9PM. However, by trying to find reservations for smaller groups, I was able to book 2 people at 3:20-4:20, 3 people at 3:40-4:40, 3 people at 3:50-4:50 and 1 person at 4:00-5:00. Seems confusing, but we all had an overlapping reservation from 4:00-4:20 so we just went on the attraction together through the fastpass line then. Worked great.
March 27, 2015 at 6:55 AM · I would like it more if I could actually PICK the 3 attractions I want Fast Passes for instead of "1 from this group and 2 from this group" AND spread them across parks. I mean that's what your Park Hopper is for.
March 27, 2015 at 6:55 AM · On our trip in September of 2014 (long after FastPass+ had left the "testing" phase), our reservations were hit and miss. Sometimes the system would recognize our FastPass+ reservation and Mickey would light up green, other times it would light up blue and show no reservations, or show reservations for only some of the party. Multiple trips to Guest Relations wasn't enough to solve the problem, as whatever fixes they implemented would show up on their computer, but not at the attractions where Guest Relations had supposedly hooked us up with new reservations. On our final Guest Relations trip the cast member took away the FastPasses that we had (including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the Anna and Elsa meet&greet) and assigned us new and different fastpasses. When we asked about the Mine Train and meeting Anna and Elsa, the Guest Relations cast member told us we were just "out of luck" because someone else had snapped up those reservations as soon as he had cleared them from our account and he couldn't get them back. After that we gave up on Guest Relations entirely, and this was the first vacation where we came home not anxiously awaiting our next trip. The system, as well as the Guest Relations cast members who didn't seem to care whether it worked or not, left a very sour taste in all of our mouths.

FastPass+ is a decent idea, but the fact that the implementation is a complete and total failure makes me not care about going back to Walt Disney World at all when you never know whether the reservations will work or not, and all the time lost (at least an hour per Guest Relations visit) trying to get Disney to honor the reservations that we had made.

Disney likes to market FastPass+ as giving you "more time to be spontaneous" (as long as your idea of spontaneity is reserving things months in advance, only for Disney to tell you that your reservations don't count), but in practice it's more likely to result in "more time devoted to anger and frustration."

Between the failure of the FastPass+ implementation, the unfamiliarity of even Guest Relations cast members with the system and how to use it, and the artificially-inflated wait times, FastPass+ was a complete vacation killer.

March 27, 2015 at 7:00 AM · I generally enjoyed FP+ (as a Disneyland regular, I absolutely hate the jog around the park to collect Fastpasses). We had one major issue when we went last May, and it related to the Wifi. We are from Canada, so we don't have the ability to use data in the US (not without paying a crazy amount) so we were completely relying on the wifi in the hotel and parks. We often found that the buses from the hotels were (very far) behind, and as we were riding the bus, our FP window would already be open. It would've made it much more convenient if we didn't have to wait until we got to the park to be able to hook back up to wifi so we can rearrange our schedule for the day. Wifi on buses is a thing. If Disney is going to have a system that makes everyone rely so much on their app, they should provide wifi everywhere on the resort property, including the buses and bus stops.
March 27, 2015 at 7:09 AM · I have to admit that after complaining about it in other posts I haven't actually used it. I think you can't really make an opinion until you have the experience.
With that being said, from others that have and the facts about it, I don't like the idea. They just made every attraction busy by making the wait times on high capacity rides go up.
I never had a problem with the paper system. It worked just fine when I was at Disneyland last fall.
I guess we will all just get used to it and work the system for the best trip possible.
March 27, 2015 at 7:07 AM · I experienced FP+ for the first time two weeks ago and was overall satisfied. It is great at MK given the number of FP+ attractions. I think it highlights the problem at DHS and Epcot and the lack of attractions with FP+ in those two parks. However, it is great that you can get a FP+ before you even head to the park and don't need to run to get one for TSMM. I would agree with other comments saying that it created a line in rides that never had line before; 30 minutes for Living the Land?!? My main downside is to get the additional FP+ once you have used your first three; you can't use the App to add one and you must go to a FP+ kiosk to get the additional one (which you can edit later with the App). I guess it depends on the crowd level in the park, but the queue for the FP+ kiosk was at time significant. I want a FP for a FP Kiosk! :) The solution for this is quite simple and inexpensive; they should have more FP+ kiosk and better spread throughout the park.
March 27, 2015 at 7:18 AM · I haven't been to WDW the past 2 years. Not because of Fastpass+ but because they didn't build new rides I cared about. The whole Fastpass+ thing made me not want to visit the old parks because of the way it's done.

I have never been able to eat in the castle because hotel guests booked it in advance and I never want to book anything in advance (or stay on site). Now you have to otherwise you stand forever in line but because hotel guests get first choise I feel I'm a second class customer maybe not able to ride what I want.
Universal (the parks I've bought an anual pass for and visited last year and will be visiting this year) doesn't give me that feeling. Sure some of their hotel guests get a front in line pass but the ammount of rides I care about, the exclusion of the very popular Potter and the fact most rides are people eaters didn't make me feel unwelcome or second class customer, the opposit.

Disney has to make amazing rides (at least 1 in every park) before I return. I'm not excited about anything they have anounced so the whole wristband datamining nonsens will not bother me because I won't visit them.
It's disapointing because I used to love Disney but they lost is many years ago and I don't want to be treated like a cash cow.

March 27, 2015 at 7:22 AM · I've had season passes to disney since i was a very small child. now i have children of my own and enjoy taking them to the parks. or at least i did... the way fast pass+ has transformed the parks really makes it feel as if Disney were purposefully designing it to hinder locals enjoyment of the parks.

DBing local we don't typically sit around and say to ourselves "you know what, in 30/60 days i'd really like to ride space mountain, i better go sign up for my fast passes!" no we go on a whim drive down to the park on a Sunday and try to hop on a few rides then grab a bite to eat before leaving. but now we are lucky to get one a single ride with wait times going through the roof and fastpass availability being virtually zero the day or week of a trip.
I surely don't want to just go and sign up for fast passes every week 30 days out ahead of time either because i have no idea if we will be in the mood to go to the parks that weekend and i don't want to take those passes away from someone else who could really use them.

No i like the old style fast pass much better it seems fair for ALL parties, not just the ones from out of town. And with 50% of local theme park revenue coming from locals, I'd think Disney should open their eyes before people like myself jump ship.

March 27, 2015 at 7:22 AM · The hyper scheduling just doesn't work well with young kids who need more flexible schedules. So it just doesn't work well for us.
March 27, 2015 at 7:33 AM · It was hit or miss for me. We had a problem at the hotel when someone smashed our car window so we spent a couple of hours there dealing with the disney security people. To make up for the time we lost dealing with this, they put two 'special' fastpasses in the system for each person in our party (that would work at any attraction) For our group of five, when we went to use them it said they had both already been used by one person in the party, even though we hadn't gone to anything yet, and one other person was on their second 'special' one, while the other three people were on their first 'special' one. No one could explain why this didn't work right.We went to guest services and after an hour or so they gave us paper fastpasses good at epcot only, but we were going to use the second special one at the magic kingdom, so that didn't work for us. Too bad, that's all they could do.

Another annoying thing is that you have to have tickets to use fastpass+. Hotel reservations don't count. We were going with my brother in law that couldn't get tickets from his MWR office on base because it was too close to the trip for them to arrive (They needed at least 3 weeks notice, and he didn't have the money to buy them that far ahead.), so we had to stop at shades of green when we got to disney for him to get tickets. Even though we had hotel rooms booked 5 months ahead of time, we couldn't make any fastpass reservations until the day before we were going to the parks because of this. Very frustrating.

Disney is making it so you have to reserve everything months in advance to be able to use fastpass+, and not everyone has that kind of notice as to when they will be there. We live in SC and have averaged going to a theme park in florida every other month for the last 10 years, but most of our trips are put together with less than a weeks notice so fastpass+ is frequently useless to us overall other than when the parks are really slow, which is getting less and less frequent. (well, technically we can get reservations for things that were pretty much just walk up before, but that's not really saving us any time.)

Lastly, they could really improve it if they had sensors at the exits so when people left the park after say 5 or 6 PM, it automatically cancelled their fastpasses in that park to open up reservations for those still in the park. (Put up a big sign and a scanner at the exit that says "Coming back later? Scan your fastpass here to keep your reservations, otherwise they will be cancelled to let others use the system" or something like that.

Further, the photopass system that is supposed to know when you're on rides doesn't always work. You scan your badge getting on test track, but your ride photo doesn't show up unless you scan it again when you get off the ride. No signs or person tells you that. Why not have it use the one when you get on the ride, or how about they advertise it as knowing you are on the rides wirelessly? why doesn't that work?

March 27, 2015 at 7:29 AM · Fastpass+ worked exactly as expected. I had no complaints. FP+ works better than the old system since you don't need to run to each ride to book a fastpass.
March 27, 2015 at 7:30 AM · As a local, I can tell you this system does not work. It restricts you to FP's for a single park, and most of the top ride reservations are taken long in advance. Meanwhile, lines are longer at other rides (like Pirates) because they never had Fast Pass before, or have allocated so much to FP that it hurts regular capacity. Or they're "dummy" choices, like The Seas or Spaceship Earth, that will waste your reservation.

Two weeks ago, we met Anna and Elsa by getting two, one-person FP's for different times. This was at the end of the day, and we were the only ones in the FP line. Normal wait was 70 minutes. We were ushered in right away to an empty room with both princesses. Are they inflating wait times to ensure FP+ guests get right in? This is what it seemed like. We were in and out in less than ten minutes, and no other guests entered the room. If that happens frequently, then the system is broken.

March 27, 2015 at 7:36 AM · After using it on Tuesday I can say its a failure all around. While it may be great for people who plan their trips months in advance, it's garbage for day guests. I had a chance to hang with a friend for his birthday on Tuesday and he chose to go to the Magic Kingdom. I stood in line a half hour just to make my fast pass+ selections. Then, after doing so, was told that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Anna and Elsa meet n greet were not available. I was there not even thirty minutes after park open and there's none for these attractions? Horrible. Just as bad as Toy Story Manias situation.

Then I selected my rides: Splash, Big Thunder, and Space...but realized my first couldnt be used until 8:35pm! So I basically had to tough it out in lines for eleven hours before I even got to use my first fast pass+! 90 minute wait for Pirates, 80 for Haunted Mansion, 45 for Stitch's Great Escape! This system spreads out crowds, but makes every line long....and when a ride goes down, all hell breaks loose. I never rode SDMT on this past visit thanks to continual downtime, but I saw very agitated people over there throughout the day.

I spent a little over twelve hours in that park, rode five rides, saw Hall of Presidents, and the characters in Storybook Circus. I would have been able to do so much more before this system came to be. Its not worth the money they spent on it, and for your average day guest it's a complete failure.

March 27, 2015 at 7:42 AM · I totally love the Fastpass+ system but I have noticed that Disney World cast members' level of customer service have decreased immensely during the past year or year and a half. I work customer service so it makes me cringe when they do things like blame the customer, etc. They made me yell and literally "throw a fit" a couple of times to get what I was entitled to in the first place... That never happened to me at disney before... They used to be really fair but not anymore...

I do agree with other commenter that having to have the tickets is a drag... We are annual passholders so it is not a problem for us but when friends go with us, it is a big deal...

March 27, 2015 at 7:52 AM · I love FP+

I have used it well over 30 times as a local. If my reservation displays on my account I have never had an issue with it working at the location. The only issue with FP+ is it makes my trips to DLR sad and disheartening as I long for FP+.

March 27, 2015 at 8:05 AM · The biggest tip I can give anyone is that while you can only get a new Fastpass+ at a kiosk, you can CHANGE that Fastpass using the mobile app afterwards. So you don't need to take up a bunch of time at the kiosk deciding what you want, just grab a pass, then change it on the fly.

Our trip in September was awesome. Rarely had a problem getting a FP for anything we wanted, the MagicBands were very convenient, and all of our interactions with cast members were exemplary. Not to say everything was perfect, but I didn't find it to be any different than the existing system, with the exception of getting to pick a few rides before we showed up. It didn't impact our ability to park hop at all.

March 27, 2015 at 8:11 AM · I liked the fastpass +, my major gripe is that is makes some of the queues that used to work great (Haunted Mansion), unbearable at times.
March 27, 2015 at 8:15 AM · I think the FP+ is a great idea, with extremely poor implementation. My main objection was the limit of three with the tiered system. They have somewhat opened it up to additional passes, but with use and time there has emerged a much more serious problem: it creates long lines for attractions that never had long lines: Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Spaceship Earth, etc. This problem has created a terrible situation for us: the parks are no longer as much fun. They really, really need to lift the system on many attractions and only use FP+ on key attractions and shows. It is my understanding that from several statements in focus group that they did not know how it would work before starting it up. I will say it is great for the room key, dining plan, payment and the like. It is nice to be able to go to the pool and not worry with a wallet and keys, but they have made the parks themselves much less fun. Further, they have allowed this system (that is highly flawed) to impact the introduction of new attractions. They should use some of the billions that they make on their movies and merchandise for the betterment of their parks. It is almost like there has been a change of their business philosophy over the last decade as it relates to the parks: before it was customer convenience is of the utmost importance. Now it is theirs.
March 27, 2015 at 8:25 AM · The new system definitely has some positives, but is not without its drawbacks.

Positives:

1. It's great to know before you even walk through the gate that you will be able to get on 3 attractions without having to stand in a massive standby line. It doesn't matter how many people show up to the park that day, you know that you at the very least will get to experience 3 things that you want. It does give you that peace of mind that Imagineers were looking for when they created the system, and I can see the philosophy that it can increase spontaneity, even though I have yet to observe it myself.

2. The ability to get additional FP+ reservations after the first 3 are used still allows those with a strong working knowledge of the system to maximize their day and further minimize wait times. The improvement to the system added last spring was a great improvement.

3. The ability to reserve character meets along with reserved parade, fireworks, and show viewing areas is a huge improvement over the previous system. Everyone likes seeing the 4 o'clock parade, but who really likes lining up an hour ahead of time for it? FP+ eliminates the need to do this, and provides FP+ holders some of the best viewing locations for them.

Negatives:

1. Reserving as much as 60 days in advance can be frustrating, especially with children or with guests that have never been to WDW before. Many parents have no idea what their child is going to want 10 minutes from now let alone 60 days from now. Trying to figure out what attractions kids want to experience 60 days in advance is a total roll of the dice. Even if you're not staying onsite and reserving 30 days in advance, parents are taking a guess as to what their kids are really going to want to experience. Secondly, those that have never been to WDW have little idea what they want to experience. There's some difference of opinion as to what are the best attractions in the parks, and Disney is asking guests to pick which 3 they want to experience before they've ever laid eyes on a Disney park.

2. Now matter how you slice it, it appears that the most popular attractions still do not have the capacity to meet the demand so if a guest does not make their reservations far enough in advance, they'll be relegated to a lengthy standby wait. This isn't necessarily a problem with the system, but more a problem with certain attractions (Soarin' TSMM, and 7DMT primarily).

3. The inability to easily make and change reservations in the park is dumbfounding. Disney has created the MyMagic+ app, and beefed up their park WiFi systems to handle the increased demand of guests constantly logging into the system. However, the app is woefully inadequate once you're in the park. Changing reservations within the app before your return window opens is sketchy at best, and we had very little success trying to make it work correctly. Changing reservations once your return window opens cannot be done, so if you find yourself unable to make it to an attraction, you're out of luck. The same was true in the old system, but at least you could easily walk up to another attraction and grab a new reservation ticket. FP+ locks you out of making additional reservations until your first 3 are complete. Finally, the cast members working the in-park kiosks are nice and extremely helpful for those with little experience with the system. However, these kiosks should be virtually unnecessary if the app did what it was supposed to do. Also, the kiosks create another set of lines that guests must navigate only to discover the attraction they wanted to reserve is no longer available since there are no in-park displays or information provided on the app that provide guests information of what attractions are currently available. I noticed a number of cast members trying to head off frustrated guests by announcing attractions that were obviously out of FP+ reservations, but it was not universal. Additionally, the kiosks are too few and far between, particularly in the Magic Kingdom. We were waiting on average 10-15 minutes simply to make a FP+ reservation.

Overall, I didn't think there was anything wrong with the old system, but now that we're stuck with this monstrosity, we have to accept the drawbacks for some minor improvements. However, Disney can make some additional modifications to make the system better like reducing the length of time guests can make reservations in advance from 60 and 30 days (for on-site and off-site guests, respectively) to 30 and 15 days. They can also make improvements to the app to allow it to mimic what the kiosks (iPads) can do. They kiosks don't need to go away, and really shouldn't for those guests that don't carry a smartphone or need help navigating the system, but can be pared back to perhaps a single cast member with an iPad outside each major attraction. However, the one feature that I, and many other theme park fans, are dreading is that attractions go to FP+ only, meaning the only way a guest will be able to experience certain attractions would be by having a FP+ reservation for it (no standby line). If WDW ever goes to a system like that, which tested a few times last year, they will lose a lot of fans.

March 27, 2015 at 8:38 AM · The last system made you "run around". I never ran or rushed in any way and the old system was fine. BTW it isn't really the "old" system. DLR still uses it people!
March 27, 2015 at 9:06 AM · I've used the new system a few times now, with a decent success rate, so I can't complain. Of course, there is always room for improvement. The first thing that comes to mind is the method by which you obtain a new fastpass, after using your inital selections. At the Magic Kingdom in particular, this process can involve waiting in line for 10-15 minutes. There has to be a better way. If it can't be done via the app, then please add some additional locations. The number currently available is not sufficient for heavy crowds.
March 27, 2015 at 9:09 AM · I have not personally used the system yet, but I have helped several first time visitors use it in the past two years. I thought the set up was painless and according to their reports the execution was flawless. For these first timers, the system turned out to be a real boon. I hope to be using the system for the first time if we visit in May 2016.
March 27, 2015 at 9:43 AM · They need to remove the tiers. There's not enough rides to make people choose between going on Test Track or Soarin. I'd also like to see the limit raised on rides you can book.
March 27, 2015 at 10:07 AM · FP+ worked well for us last November. We even decided to go to Animal Kingdom at the last minute one morning, and had no problem finding rides to reserve. We were even able to change them on the go. When we went to Hollywood Studios, we were able to book an overlapping time for my sister for TSMM, since her ticket was purchased right before the trip. We didn't have any wifi issues either, and I don't have a data plan on my "phone". I rely on free wifi.

That being said, I still miss the old paper system and being able to choose what rides we want to go on when we arrive. I just don't miss running for that first pass at rope drop.

March 27, 2015 at 11:51 AM · As a long time, and as of January, former annual passholder, the paper Fastpasses worked great. The current system is anything but magical.

I want to go when I can and feel like going, not some date 1-2 months from now. I suspect a lot of the fans are annual visitors and a lot of the non-fans like me are annual passholders. A spontaneous trip for a couple of rides and dinner because I have a half-day free is no longer worthwhile. While they don't need me as a customer now because they are so busy, there's always another slowdown in the economy.

March 27, 2015 at 12:03 PM · I used it last January. There are pros and cons. I think that it is slightly better for an experienced customer and much better for someone that had never used any fast pass system.

But the system, specially the website, can be improved a lot!!!

March 27, 2015 at 12:33 PM · Can someone explain to me like I'm a dumb person why fastpass+ increases wait times at high capacity attractions? Now I'm worried that I'll have my fastpasses set before we go, but 30 minute waits on everything else. I get that Disney is redistributing people and you can't get all the fastpasses you want to, but I don't understand why the line to Pirates would shoot up just because there are more fastpasses in use.
March 27, 2015 at 12:38 PM · Okay, I just have to say this since no one else has yet. According to the survey, twice as many people who have used FastPass+ liked the way it worked, as did not. That's not a bad first year for a system that everyone - EVERYONE - was vehemently condemning before it went online.

I get that it doesn't work as effectively for a spur of the moment trip as it does for those who plan ahead. And I also get that Disney had to choose to favor those who stay onsite over those who don't. But haters are not acknowledging that the ever-increasing crowds at Disney forced them to make some changes, and seriously, how else should they have done it? Have any of the whiners here really proposed a better idea? Disney should favor those who stay at other properties? They should penalize those who plan their trips in advance?

Bottom line: something had to be tried, and I think anyone who is reasonable about this has to admit that the choices Disney made may not have been perfect in every way, but at least they did something! Oh, yeah, and it's still FREE! This from someone who will NEVER pay for Universal's Express Pass up-charge, even though I love Universal parks just as much as I do Disney.

March 27, 2015 at 1:27 PM · We used it on our trip last september and it worked really great. We got all the attractions that we wanted and even managed to get a second FP+ for the six of us for Toy Story Mania. I guess being on low season really helped. We have never had park hoppers but I think guests paying for that option should have the possibility to book rides in more than one park. Also it would be great to have the possibility to use the app to select the additional FP once you have used them all, to avoid having to make a line to avoid a line. We really didn't see any lines on FP kiosks but again it was september. The only other improvement I would add is the possibility to see all the FP+ reservations for your party in a single view. We had different attractions selected for each and you always had to select the person first(at least in the version of My Disney Experience we used on sep). After the first day I ended with a paper with all the reservations written down and the people on that reservation. We did use the child swap to override the tier restrictions because we had a 3yo and a 8yo.
March 27, 2015 at 2:11 PM · I haven't used the system, but I have family members who have. From them, the system has gotten mixed reviews. Pros of the system are that it guarantees you will have the opportunity to experience your top priority attractions, it eliminates the running around required with the old system, and it allows you to select a return time instead of having one assigned, while cons are the requirement to pre-plan your vacation, the difficulty in making additional reservations once the initial three are used, the lack of support for park hopping, and being forced to choose three different attractions when you might rather do something twice. Overall, the consensus among my family is that it is a good system, but the old paper tickets are better.

I'm unsure whether I'll get to first use Fastpass+ on a future Florida trip or at the Disneyland Resort in California, but my biggest worry about the system is that it will be brought to California without any modifications and will completely destroy the park experience as it is today. For Fastpass+ to work in California, the following needs to change:

-Reduce the advance reservation window, and set aside a certain percentage of reservations (probably 20-40%) for day-of reservations.
-Allow advance reservations to be made for both parks on the same day.
-Increase the number of advance reservations allowed, with possible restrictions on how many headliners or how many attractions in the same park can be reserved. Alternatively, only use reservations on attractions that justify it and don't stick Fastpass+ on everything in the park with satisfactory capacity.
-Either have a large number of reservation kiosks or allow additional reservations to be made from mobile devices.
-Instead of requiring all initial reservations to be used before making new reservations, have a maximum number of active reservations and allow guests to make additional reservations any time they have less than that number.
-For AP guests, they have a certain allowance of advance reservations for the year. Once all those are used up, they can no longer make reservations in advance of their visit.

March 27, 2015 at 2:12 PM · We've used the "new" system on our last 3 trips and I don't think it's an improvement over the old, First Come First Serve standby days. Not only do you need hotel and restaurant reservations, now you need attraction and fireworks viewing reservations too? Can reserved restroom breaks be far behind? To echo a previous poster, rushing through the parks from one corner to another to make your FP window, and then to a kiosk to repeatedly make whatever additional FPs are available, is a lousy way to enjoy the parks the Imagineers have done such a beautiful job creating. The reason why the Standby lines are so long is that they're held up for FP holders. Eliminate the FP system and the wait times will go reasonably down. I can honestly say that these new policies/procedures have lessened my enjoyment of WDW, while the Universal Express Pass has increased my enjoyment of those parks. Let's hope It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.
March 27, 2015 at 2:38 PM · I don't understand the local day guest's complaints. I have a limit on my passes of signing up no earlier than 7 days in advance. I almost always don't even think of going to a park until the night before or the morning of and even with that I can get almost always what I want.

But the realities are

1. Attendance is higher than it was before, and growing at a rate that's noticeable. It's not that the new system is making lines longer for rides that used be shorter, it's people.

2. With super popular attractions, you still had to be among the first to show up to get a pass, if at all. At Studios and especially Epcot, if you got a Fastpass for one, chances are they would be gone for the other (ie Test Track and Soarin'), and the tiered system reflects that.

3. Use the App if you can. But all the time spent queuing up for the individual paper kiosks over the course of a day were probably about the same amount of time spent waiting for one Fastpass+ kiosk.

4. It's way more flexible. All day long I show guest how simple it is to change things on the phone.

5. Guest on the older system only, statistically, used about 1.5 passes daily. Already allowing three to start with mean way more guest get to use way more passes.

6. The old system took years to get the bugs out and so will this one.

March 27, 2015 at 5:34 PM · I wish I could double vote: I was at WDW in February, used Fastpass+ extensively, and was both satisfied AND unhappy with the experience.

It is an effective system. All my bookings worked. Everybody got to see what they wanted, without ridiculous wait times for the most popular rides.

The new delays at, what were once, walk-on rides was annoying. But, mostly, what I disliked was the lack of spontaneity. Everything pre-planned thirty days in advance. Going to the park, and trying to figure out which-time-where-with-who-to-do-what. Never felt that way with the paper system - even when I was running from one side of Epcot to the other to make sure we got the most passes possible.

Fastpass+ is a fine system. Very effective. But it makes me feel like I'm enjoying the parks the way Disney wants me to - Not the way I want to.

March 27, 2015 at 4:04 PM · We would like to have more than 3 a day, would prefer not to have rides pitted against each other and that Disney not give the times. In order to get rides in consecutive order, time wise you have to go back into the system three or more times. I tried Fastpass+ in October 2013, November 2014 and March 2015. It improved with each visit!
March 27, 2015 at 7:38 PM · In blunt terms, I am now a former annual passhder having had annual and seasonal passes for 20 years.

If you are the person that books your vacation months in advance down to the minute, it's built for you. I understand these are the most profitable guests. They have lots of these right now. By forcing hyper scheduling, they are maximizing revenue an profit. Those of us that (used to) go for a few hours and often drop a $100 for dinner and whateve and have a little R&R are now not really welcome. Good in the short term for Disney.

In late 2001, they were desparate and had to even close then Dixie landings for several months, cancel the remainder of Pop Century for a decade (now Art of Animation), and began half closing Epcot a third of the day (the 9-7/11-9 schedule). In late 2008, they were hurting as people didn't have the cash to travel. The economic swings have been massive over the last 15 years. It's bad business to not take care of your core guests,

March 27, 2015 at 10:04 PM · The questions was asked how this system increases wait times. I monitor wait times year round. With the old system, they only had fast passes for traditionally popular rides or those of low capacity. Now they have them for everything. Rides with continuous loading systems like Spaceship Earth, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribean all load mostly continuously and can run lots of people through, unlike a roller coaster where it takes a while to load and safety check the attraction. Now, you are stopping the continuous loading process to let all of the fast pass+ people in. It bogs down rides that would be no more than 30 minutes on a busy day. After FP+ came along, these high volume, fast loading rides started to get 45-60 minute waits, almost doubling them. Families that were used to the old system could avoid most waits by using touring plans or just common sense. This new system eliminates this. Further, it seems to me, and I could be very wrong about this, more and more guests are arriving early, making the early bird system of being able to hit 4-5 rides in the first hour less possible. I can now experience as much less a day. Gone also is the rising favorite attractions three times in a 30 minute span. The last time I was at the parks on a crowded day, I rode Haunted Mansion once and never could get on Pirates. The same week I was able to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey four times in 30 minutes using their single rider line. I do think they should revisit the system to get the lines down and find a way to accommodate the day guests and season passholder (and I never fit into either group). All the families that I know that are, I should say were, regulars hate it. They need to modify it. They also need a fifth gate. Badly.
March 28, 2015 at 9:02 AM · Before the fastpass plus, normal fastpass for popular attractions would be gone at 10am being so unfair for those who arrive a later. So now you don't have to be running to get a pass just check on the phone and thats it. Like it better!
March 28, 2015 at 10:08 AM · I did not like it in regards to the difficulty of trying to get into a restaurant. It seems like you we were supposed to schedule are whole vacation 4 months in advance. The cast members looked at was like we were crazy for even asking about how long the wait would be. At one restaurant we we were told no walk ins only reservations. That seems ridiculous that you need to know what time you will be hungry and what exactly you want to eat months before vacation. Having to go by a schedule took much of the relaxation out of the vacation.
March 28, 2015 at 10:52 AM · Fastpass+ is terrible! I hate it.

Disney executives: "Let me see... We can invest $1.5 billion in 15 new E-ticket attractions or we can spend $1.5 billion on a super sneaky surveillance system that will help us separate our customers from their cash as quickly as possible."

Of course, the executives went for the money grab. Why should Disney executives invest money in real improvements when so many fans don't know the difference?

March 28, 2015 at 11:23 AM · Just speaking for our family. We've done 12 WDW vacations of a week or longer since March, 2007. They've all been great, but the most relaxing have been the past 3, with magic bands and FP+.

From our first experience with FP+ in 2013, when we arrived at 6pm at DHS and still got to do ToT, R'nRC and TSMM, to our most recent, where we could relax a few mornings for the first time ever, we've loved it! We got morning pool time, buffet breakfasts, golf, off site shopping-all the while knowing that we could do our faves when we got to the park. The spontaneity for us was not planning our mornings for the first time ever on a WDW trip. (We tend to visit when crowd levels are quite high). We'd wake up (maybe sleep in), and chat about what we'd like to do...golf, swim, shop, etc.? Gone were the days where we felt we had to get to a park before rope drop to do our beloved attractions. This completely changed our experience. Now visiting WDW allows us to really relax, truly feel like we're on vacation, and still do our favorite things. Best of both worlds for us.

March 28, 2015 at 2:27 PM · I have done FP+ to Disney World over the last w weeks and I thought it was great. Even before there was a regular fastpass my dad would take us when we were little and have heavily preplan stuff so I guess I got it from him. We had the free wifi on my bfriend`s phone and used it to plan the day ahead of time to see the waits. I based all the selections on knowledge from the previous visits and we did pretty well. We liked not having to gey up early and were abke to try rides that would have had fp all used up by days end. I understand the frustration with the lines st the statio. and putting some rides in categories but overall i liked it and i was not even in the hotels i made out ok 30 days in advance. I think it is incentive though if u go arpund christmas to stay in a disney hotel and get the 60 days
March 29, 2015 at 9:52 AM · I must be doing something wrong. I have yet to really find an issue with it. First of all, I go quite a bit being a local. But I don't plan more than a few days out. During our spring break, we had FP's for DHS and Epcot. Picked them the week prior. Had no issue getting early FP's for Test Track - 10:30am - and was able to modify the times (which you can manipulate once you choose the three) for the other two so that they were all close in time. At DHS, we had Toy Story Mania, Frozen sing along and Star Tours. Again modified the times to keep them close together. We were able to do all of this, ride Star Tours again, and leave before the rains arrived.
Just before commenting, I just picked FP's for Epcot on the Saturday before Easter. (My son loves Test Track.) Again, I have early times and moved the other two (which I may or may not use) to butt up against TT.
FP+ does not have to be planned so far in advance. Gone are the days of running to an attraction to get the paper ones.
To the point about inflated wait times at other attractions, when my wife's cousin and family came here two weeks ago, we hit Magic Kingdom. We had FP's for Peter Pan, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. We started about around 9am. We did 18 attractions - all the major ones including 7 Dwarfs - in about 9 hours. The longest wait was Splash Mountain; about 60 minutes. They had not been here before, so we didn't rush through the park. No parades or shows in front of the castle. Just rode rides.
It may not be flawless. I have not had the glitches some others have mentioned, and I can see that being frustrated. But those seem to be more exception than rule.
March 29, 2015 at 5:22 PM · As longtime WDW visitors, my husband, two daughters, and I are not fans of the new Fastpass system. We went to Walt Disney World at the end of last August and diligently followed the advice of making Fastpass reservations for every morning of our ten day vacation. That way, with our park hopper passes, we could make new Fastpasses at a different park after we used our initial three Fastpasses and took a break at the hotel. The problem with this plan was when we got to the second park every day, the only Fastpasses left were for rides/shows you didn't need a Fastpass for anyway, such as Turtletalk with Crush or Philharmagic. Worse yet, we're at the parks right at opening time every day and most of the time we were using Fastpasses when the standby lines were short or nonexistent (such as for Dinosaur at the Animal Kingdom). This happened time and time again. The lack of ability to get additional Fastpasses at the second park we visited really frustrated us, so when we visit this coming August we are employing a new strategy. We will be making Fastpass reservations for the afternoon/evening. In this way, we will arrive at the first park of the day and do standby lines while they are short, take a break from the heat at our hotel, then have Fastpasses for when the standby lines are at their longest. All that said, we did not have any trouble with our Fastpasses registering correctly last summer and got the "green light" every time we used them. I know we're in the minority, but we much preferred the old system where we didn't have to plan our whole itinerary 60 days in advance to be sure to be able to ride Toy Story Midway Mania or Soarin. We routinely got 5 or more Fastpasses in a day, for rides we really wanted to ride, not rides we had to settle on since they were the only ones that had Fastpasses left. We know it's not going away though, so we'll keep fine tuning how we use it until we find a strategy that works best for us. On another note, our daughter is going to Walt Disney World for her Senior trip at the end of April and the advisors for the trip just got the trip reservation numbers on Friday and will be giving them out to students tomorrow, March 30th. With only twenty-five days until their trip, she is racing home tomorrow to try and get Fastpasses for her favorite rides. We'll see how that works; I'm very curious to see if there will even be any left for Toy Story Midway Mania or Soarin.

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