Published: February 18, 2011 at 12:34 AMFirst, Watson on Jeopardy! And now this! What will the computers think when they finally "see" Terminator 3D?
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 3:03 AMI work from a diary every day in the office...do I want to go on vacation and feel I HAVE to be on Space Mountain at 10.15 on Thursday because I had it booked 6 months ago.... Not particularly if I'm honest.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 4:23 AMThis sounds a little to me like they are trying to reinvent the wheel. Disney already has a crowd/line control system that A: set the standard for those types of systems and B: has yet to be replicated in a way that is free to ALL park guests. Personally I think that Disney is looking to plus the resort experience that could ultimately end up frustrating some and alienating others. I love to plan and tweek and revise and edit my plans for a Disney trip like any good obsessive compulsive Disneyfile, but when I get there, I like to have free reign. I think this would end up robbing people of one the aspects of Disney that makes it so special: the experience is unique to each person/family and there is a huge amount of ownership for people who go there as to how they want it to happen.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 6:00 AMThe hotel room key idea is great; however, the change to the fast pass system for rides is not. In my opinion that ain't broke, so don't fix it. Speeding up the long waits from getting off the plane to the park is excellent. I hate the sometimes long wait on the magic express bus and the long line checkimg into the room. Anything that shortens that I am all for.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 6:33 AMThis plan might enhance the guest experience in some ways. But come on, over a billion sunk into this? I'd much, much rather see a fresh billion put into new rides, refurbs and upgrades of existing attractions. One new e-ticket would do more to enhance the guest experience than all the reservation system doodads in the world.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 7:20 AMI don't see why you all think this is a bad idea! He is not saying everyone must make fast pass reservations in advance. He is saying it will be an option for people booking a vacation, which can be very helpful considering how difficult it is to sometimes get FastPasses at certain attractions where they can sell out in a matter of minutes.
This garuntees those who are paying all of that money to stay on-site the chance to actually get their money's worth!
Published: February 18, 2011 at 7:43 AMI think this plan is terrible for the average visitor to Disney, and the city of Orlando. This next gen idea seems to be geared more to increasing the patronage of Disney resorts the actual guest experience. After all, guests can only book these advanced fast passes if they are staying on Disney property.
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
Published: February 18, 2011 at 9:03 AMI'd do it - I don't like the idea of it but if it gave me more reason to sit and plan my holiday, I know I wouldn't be able to resist. And I don't belive those that said they would only do it if there was no other choice - if the option was available, most would do it whether they were forced to or not - just because they wouldn't want to risk missing out - just like we booking ADRs six months out. Obviously for Disney this is going to be about making more money - get more people in to their own hotles, enabling targetted marketing and giving you more time in the aprks to spend. BUT. Most Britis visit for 14 days. E currently spend 13 of those at Disney - by the end of it we've doine all the rides we want to multiple times. And towards the end, if we go in low season, we can feel like we've done it enough. If they eliminate or reduce the lines too much, are visitors going to get through it all quicker? If in the future I can do in 7 days, what now takes me 14, won#t I then consider maybe spending the last 7 (or at least 3 or 4) at Universal hotles and aprks isnetad?
Published: February 18, 2011 at 9:56 AMwhen will this happen? if this happens?
Published: February 18, 2011 at 10:05 AMI'm a DVC member and can't wait for this to happen. I have been hoping for something like this for quite a while. I'm a DVC member owning at Disney's Saratoga Springs in Florida, and the Villas at the Grand Californian in California. You get what you pay for, and it's about time Disney rewards those who spend the money for a premium vacation to stay at their resorts. If you're too cheap to stay at one of Disney's resorts and pay or this then you have no room to complain, as that's your decision.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 10:29 AMI think this is also not a great idea for DVC members too who technically don't "book vacations" in the conventional sense.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 11:20 AMAll I can see is that the Annual and Seasonal Passholders are sure to get even more screwed when 50,000 resort guests get first dibs on all rides before the parks even open in the morning. This will cause pass purchasers to plummet in number to almost non-existent.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 11:32 AMI hate the idea of having the FASTPASS advance system only available to Disney Resort guests. My family typically rents a two-bedroom condo when visiting Florida so that all family members get the space and privacy they need. The thought of squeezing everyone into a Disney Hotel at three times the cost is not my idea of a great vacation. I despise the Universal "front of the line" system and don't frequent that park due to the long lines for everyone else. I hope Disney reconsiders this approach.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 11:38 AMWhat happens when you want to go tomorrow and buy a ticket? Everyone else is ahead of you because they booked ahead. Its like Disney dining package if you want good times or good restaurants you need to book months in advance. When the time comes you change your mind for different reasons. Disney will use the reservation for staffing knowing what days and time they are going to see higher attandance. That way they can cut back payroll on slower days.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 11:41 AMI think that the advanced reservations is another option for the people. The ones who want to take this advantage, the ones who will be taking tha fast pass, and the ones who will like to be in line watching all the details and trying to find hidden Mickeys, I think there is an option for everyone.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 11:52 AMI'm with "Nick from Orlando!!" This idea is GREAT for Disney hotel guests, but what about those that can't afford to stay at the expensive,on-site hotels, as well as all of us Florida residents,especially when some of us buy annual passes??!! It seems like Disney is catering more and more to out of town vacationers who only stay at THEIR hotels, and they disregard everyone else!! Shame on you,Disney...for sure!!!!
Published: February 18, 2011 at 11:54 AMUltimately, the math will make or break this plan.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 12:02 PMI am a planner ! I love to plan stuff ahead of time. However, pre-planning fast passes is a little much. Anything can happen during the day that could totally ruin your "schedule" for the day, from rides breaking down to a weather changes, to illness, to the fact that despite our planning, we still like to be spontaneous. We have made dining reservations at Disney months ahead of time only to cancel at the last minute because we decide to change our plans. I can't imagine planning times to ride rides!
Published: February 18, 2011 at 1:18 PMDownfall.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 1:24 PMI really do not think this will go over well. A lot of people who visit theme parks don't do much planning, just decide what they want to do and go do it. Reserving fastpasses requires a ton of planning, as you now have certain times when you must do a specific attraction. You also have to factor in the dumb guest factor. I know a significant number of people who are not aware that Disneyworld is more than one park. What would likely happen if guests are not aware of this and book fastpasses at different parks very close together, so close there isn't enough time to travel between them? If this is an upcharge, Disney could end up with a lot of angry guests who do this type of thing.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 3:03 PMIf Disney has $1B burning a hole in its pocket, I wish it had contributed it to the Florida High-Speed Rail project we just lost. As a resident, transit would convince me to visit the parks more, not an assig'ed-way-in-advance Fastpass. I NEVER use it even now.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 5:00 PMWell, Disney is a pretty smart company, so they wouldn't throw a billion into a project that wasn't worth it.
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.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 6:07 PMWhile I understand all of your complaints, I think we need to realize that we are basing this all off of a single small statement. We don't even know the exact details of what they want to do or even if they will do it!
Published: February 18, 2011 at 6:24 PMIn the past, if Soarin' has been out of Fastpasses, I have always been able to stand in a standby line. I feel like you will have a lot of disappointed people with this system. If a ride is "booked" for the day, you might not be able to wait even in a standby line. I feel like this really de-humanizes and de-enchantifies the Disney parks. I don't know, but I doubt that I'm the only one who actually gets a thrill out of going and getting a fastpass. Also, what if a person decides on a whim to go to Disney. If they check in the night before, and all that is left for ride times are in the evenings, the person is going to have a bad vacation because you can't see everything on one vacation. This would force people to plan months in advance which some people do not like to do. I have always enjoyed the freedom of being able to change what I want to do on a whim, especially if something occurred where you had to change your plans, and this system would eliminate that freedom. This is not one of Disney's brightest ideas.
Published: February 18, 2011 at 7:06 PMHere's another thought I had. 180 days, I book a ride reservation. I get to the park and learn that the ride is going through refurbishment and is closed. (Of course I would actually know this prior to entering the park, come on, I'm a TPIer)
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.
Published: February 19, 2011 at 3:39 AMI think that allowing fast pass booking in advance will take a lot away from the Disney experience. What is it that makes us feel like kids? Isn't the spontaneity and the leaving our schedules of daily life behind and living in the moment a key component of the whole Disney experience? In retail there is a theory of the “Treasure Hunt” where you find something that is either an unexpected useful item you didn’t know you wanted or a great barging. Aren’t those the type of experiences that Disney represents, wasn’t that element of suppers and spontaneity the basis of “Year of a Million Dreams”. Disney has always been about exceeding expectations, not delivering on what you planed. I know I already do too much planning before I walk in to the parks, this would be a tool that would allow me to way over think and plan my vacation, lets face it we are already to over whelmed with technology and planning, theme parks offer us an escape from this to a degree. I think that expanding ride capacity would be money better spent. Maybe a couple of more toys story tracks, couple more soaring films and ride theaters.
Published: February 19, 2011 at 5:21 AMWow! Lets make it simple why not run the whole thing like a broadway show? lets say Ill be porperty on May 2-6, And I want to visit one park each day. So I book each day for a diffrent park. Now heres the complicated part each park has it capacity. Just like a theater lets say Magic Kingdoms is 65,000. Once reached between resort guest, and daily sales. Were done no exceptions. Like a show if you choose not to go you get nothing back. And have no stand by tickets. And if you leave the park and re-entry later thats fine but your still in with the head count for that day. So if Iam a resort guest, Vacation Club member, or a off porperty visitor, Its a level playing field. As far as attractions go i use the show referance. Youve paid $76.00 to see a show and you get in sit down and only find out that the understudy wil be preforming the part. No in park fast pass or advanced attraction booking ride times. This would retain the guest experince, and retain the go on the fly approach.
Published: February 19, 2011 at 5:49 AMThis just doesn't sound appealing to me. The fun about going to Disney and any other theme park is the freedom. Being restricted to a schedule is a bore. I mean I'm 14 right now and my dad just let's me run loose and says meet me here at this time (normally for lunch or a pre requested show) and we both enjoy our merry time. I can go on a ride 6times in a row while he goes on every ride once or twice. Again, your loosing all that freedom.
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.
Published: February 19, 2011 at 6:54 AMThis is a very bad idea in my view. I go to Disneyland for fun, not to be on a tight schedule. I even resent the fastpass, everyone should wait their turn and have an equal chance at an attraction after paying the admission. I feel the fastpass is a legal way of crashing in front of the line. It seems Disney is now catering more and more to the wealthy and not to the ordinary family Walt had built the park for. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, that is what it's all about. Stacy
Published: February 19, 2011 at 6:58 AMReflecting on this idea and reading other members thoughts on it has really made it clear to me that- Disney just doesn't care about about true guest experience at Disney World period. The company knows that Disney families are going to come and visit no matter what they do.
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.
Nick from Orlando
Published: February 19, 2011 at 12:06 PMYou can put my name on my post you have it listed as
From 126.96.36.199 on February 19, 2011 at 3:39 AM
Tom Ewart is my name
Published: February 19, 2011 at 7:26 PMWhen I was working at Space Mountain, they were doing some major research on Fastpass usuage, standby and efficiency. One of the workers told me that they were working on a digital, paperless Fastpass system using cellphones. That's all he was willing to say, but it very might well be connected.
Published: February 19, 2011 at 8:11 PMI am an uber-planner (touring plans, ADRs at the 180 day mark, crowd calendar predictions, etc.) and not even I like the idea of planning a Disney vacation to the degree that this would require. I don't like it and I sincerely hope that they don't implement this.
Published: February 20, 2011 at 7:42 PMThe fast pass system presently in place at the parks must remain in place to be fair to all patrons. I also think the present system should be the only system since all patrons fast passes should be on a first come first served basis!!
Published: February 21, 2011 at 8:48 AMWhat concerns me more than the Fast Pass/Stand By line is the feeling one gets when the parks are crowded just walking around. I'd much rather see that situation address. There is nothing worse, in my opinion, than feeling wall to wall at Disney in a restaurant, ride queue or just walking around the parks. The more capacity they add for hotels, the more they should consider the "feel" of the parks if everyone showed up.
Published: February 21, 2011 at 10:23 AMI don't think it's completely necessary for Disney to go this far. I understand them wanting to give the guest a complete experience, but there comes a time where it starts to become overkill. There are a lot of people who aren't interested in sticking to a strict vacation plan they made 6 months ago. Plans change, weather changes...desires change.
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.
Published: February 21, 2011 at 3:02 PMWay too early to panic. As a tiny stockholder (tiny number of shares, I mean) I know Disney as a company has a history of throwing out ideas but either altering or dropping them later. I personally feel being able to reserve meals and shows (like Fantasmic) online is a positive thing, as would be advance check-in that lets you bypass the lines in the lobby and head straight to your room.
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.
Published: February 22, 2011 at 10:10 AMI personally think the 'advanced reservation' for ride times stinks... I hate to see families dragging their children from ride to ride - the kid says 'But Mom, I want to go on Buzz!' - Mom says 'No! Tour Guide Mike says we can't go on Buzz until 1:26 PM. We need to wait!' It's so stupid - just go, relax, and enjoy these parks for what they are and what Walt wanted them to be - a place where families could come together and have fun.
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...
Published: February 22, 2011 at 10:56 AMI'm not sure I'm at all comfortable with knowing someone else has a key and number to our same hotel room already... Many times we call and get a later checkout time on our last day - how would that be addressed if the incoming guests had a key to our room already?