If the system crashes, I hope it doesn't turn into "Westworld" (1973), which btw, makes great use of the Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City) backlot.
Dont get me wrong - I like the fastpass system (when it works - it doesnt make the standby line on Splash very pleasant at all in busy times), but I also like the freedom to wake up and decide what I want to do on the fly.I hope this doesnt mean fastpass distribution on the day in parks will disappear.
This garuntees those who are paying all of that money to stay on-site the chance to actually get their money's worth!
Think about this- a ride such as Toy Story Mania typically distributes all of its fast passes by 11 am. I literally have gotten to the park 1/2 hour before opening, walked directly to Toy Story and still ended up with a return time of 3 pm. If advanced reservations are given to resort guests then there will be NO possible way that a non resort will have a chance to get a fast pass themselves. Therefore the actual guest experience for non resort guests is diminished. Disney is making it so that in order to enjoy the parks you HAVE to stay on property. That sucks for local and casual visitors, and it sucks for off property hotels (and the city of Orlando).
This advanced fast pass thing was rumored a few years ago, back then it was brought up as a tiered system... e.i. the more you spend at a hotel, the more you will be able to pre book. I wouldn't be surprised if that is still the case. Boo Disney- and shame on you.
Nick from Orlando
I was recently glad to see Disney in California begin to charge customers, not staying at a Disney property, extra money to park in a hotel parking lot, or use amenities meant for hotel guests this now cuts down on the riff raff who feel like they have a sense of entitlement because they are visiting the park hellp the ticket is for the park not the hotels if you wnt to use hotel amenities, then stay at the hotel otherwise get on back to the Best Western and eat at Denny's.
I, and other DVC Members I know are happy to see this move forward and will make our visits much more enjoyable and efficient.
I do find the plan a bit interesting and cutting edge, but I really can't see how Fastpasses online is a good idea. It is already hard to get into Le Celliler in Canada with the online reservations, now I won't be able to go on Test Track? I do, however, enjoy online dining reservations.
I think Disney's fastpass system is easy and fair. Its a first come, first service type of thing and when you break it down, pretty easy concept to figure out: put ticket in, get a ticket for a time to come back, come back.
Disney does have some pretty awesome things/time wasters online including a make your own personalized map (for free).
While I am mixed, I think that Disney is ok with their current reservation system. I like Fastpass the way it is: fair to everybody with a slight edge to resort guests.
Any business that takes advance reservations has learned that you have to do the math to determine what percentage of reservations will be no-shows, what percentage will be late, and what times of day people most want reservations.
Theme park attraction reservations, unfortunately, will end up operating more like airline reservations than restaurant or movie reservations, because - like airplanes - theme park attractions don't always operate with 100-percent uptime. The system will need padding to accommodate visitors who get "bumped" by downtimes.
With enough research, Disney could do all this math and develop a workable system, I believe. If I had to bet on this, I'd guess that the advanced FastPass will be an upsell for guests in Disney hotels (or standard at the Deluxe level and an upsell at others).
Or, Disney could simply replace in-park FastPass distribution with advance online reservation within some time window. It used to be that you'd queue at Epcot first thing in the morning to make dining reservations, just like we go to get FastPasses now. That system went online. FastPass could, too, without changing the mix of FastPass to stand-by admissions.
I'd like to see Disney first take the interim step of requiring reservations to use admission tickets on certain high-traffic days, however. On days that the park's expected to hit capacity, instead of making it first-come, first-served - which leads to traffic and frustrated guests - require people to make a reservation to use their tickets to get into the park that day. That seems to me a smart use of advance-reservation technology.
Even though this is a good idea, many reservations won't be available, due to the immense number that do book 180 days in advance (190 days for on site resort guests), leading to frustration, and as other posters have mentioned, who really knows what ride or show they want to do on what day.
In addition, this plan would also make it difficult for day guests to use the fastpass system, at least on popular rides. By doing this, Disney would reduce this group of visitors significantly. Unless they want to be an exclusive resort for only people who are willing to stay on property and pay a ton of money, this plan would probably cause more problems than it is worth.
What I think would be a better alternative would be for resort guests to have the ability to purchase fastpasses that are good for one ride on a certain ride at anytime during their stay, but make them expensive enough that relatively few people actually do it. The quicker the pass sells out, the more expensive it would be in this system, so a ride like Toy Story Midway Mania (which I've heard runs out the fastest) would be around $10 per ticket, while something that never runs out would be more like $2 per ticket. Also, guests would only be able to purchase a certain number (say two per guest per day, including arrival and departure days) of fastpasses total.
Not sure though how they spent a billion on an idea.
I don't do disney -- it just never worked out, the kids were never the right age, it's too far away, it was too expensive, whatever. I finally made the trip down, and we did Universal instead.
But this might actually let me do disney one day. I don't do disney in part because I don't know if I can get on all the rides I want to get on, and it would stress me out.
Usually, I buy season passes to parks, so I can plan a 4-day visit and then I can enjoy myself. But I'm used to scheduling my park visits around showtimes.
So if you told me I could spend another 40 bucks and get pre-timed tickets to each ride I want to do. One day, in and out. Don't have to waste 5 days on a disney vacation, spending money in the disney restaurants, whatever. In and out, do exactly what we planned.
But it doesn't sound like a "disney" vacation anymore. How can I enjoy just walking around, seeing the sights, stumbling on something I didn't know I'd want to do?
I think I'll stick with parks that aren't so overhyped that everybody wants to go there.
Would the system notify me of the closure? I foresee the extreme and some guests demanding to ride based on the fact that there is a reservation and they knew I would be there.
The hotel idea sounds great, it can be a hassle to get a hotel key sometimes especially moving with a big family like mine, but this would cut that part out. But other than that, having a fast pass reservation? Come on now thats just to far for me.
Example, last year Disney had an opportunity to make vast improvements to a classic (but very rough) Space Mountain. Plans were made to re-track, but then they decided that re-tracking the ride would cost money that they don't need to spend. Compared to modern, comfortable coaster systems (like the CA version), Space Mountain FL is a relic that truly delivers an painful ride. Yet Disney knew that despite the roughness, people would still line up to ride it- simply because it is Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. They simply don't care.
It is the same reason that FL will never get Holiday Mansion- that seasonal upgrade would only really attract locals into the park- and they don't really matter to Disney.
Furthermore, how many frickin perks to resorts guests need?! They already are essentially the only ones that get eat at the park's restaurants- they get easy access and free park transportation- and they get extra magic hours (which lets them get on many rides with little to no wait already). So on top of all of that Disney has to go and give them control of fastpass!? The explanation is simply and clear: Disney just doesn't care.
From 188.8.131.52 on February 19, 2011 at 3:39 AM
Tom Ewart is my name
I think part of this is rooted in Disney's need for order and the desire to control absolutely everything they can in their parks. That's not a conspiracy statement or anything like that...they want that control for logistic and business purposes. Sure it provides a service and even a convenience to some, but it would also inevitably create some unhappy customers. I don't think that ride reservations need to be any more prevalent then they already are. I wouldn't visit Disney under this plan because it goes against my idea of vacation, which is a loose plan of action that's always subject to change. I get enough of schedules and priorities in my everyday life...don't need them on vacation too.
I would still like the option to work with a CM to adjust the room ressie if there is a special situation. Last year, for example, they assigned us a second floor room despite two of our party having disabilities that made it problematic. A CM fixed it for us in 10 minutes by switching room assignments. How would this work with the pre-carded rooms?
However, I would definitely dislike any system for ride passes that creates two classes of visitors--a reason why I am in no hurry to go back to Universal. Not everyone can afford to buy a front of the line pass, and this would be a disincentive for us to continue vacationing at WDW each year. Nothing to do with being "cheap;" just fiscal reality for many of us.
What would Walt think about having to plot out every minute of your vacation, excluding all families that can't afford (or in the summer literally get shut out of) on-Property hotel rooms? I don't think he'd like it... I always stay on site, but I don't even plan what park I'm going to in advance. Feel like a School Bread for brunch? Let's head to EPCOT! This won't work for everyone - hopefully they'll see that...