I know that Robert is a big fan of Universal and when I first started reading TPI I felt like he took needless jabs at Disney...and I even wondered if he might be paid by Universal to do that. I think I've been reading TPI for about a year now and on some points I've come along to Robert's side, while on others I think differently in new ways.
I love that Universal has spent a fortune on the new Potter stuff and am so grateful for it. I'm actually re-reading the Potter series now so that I can get through all 7 books before we get to experience Diagon Alley in the fall. I plan on spending a whole day in a Universal park for the first time ever, because we are buying the two-park passes to be able to ride the train and go back and forth between the two lands. I am so excited thinking about it. I can't remember the last time I was excited about anything at WDW in this way.
I actually try to think about what could make me excited like this for WDW, where I would be sitting here six months out counting the days to get down there. For me, Disney will have to build a truly immersive world like Universal did for Potter. But I don't know what world that would be. My husband and boys would love a Star Wars world like that, on the level of Potter or above. But, for me I wish that they could build something like Wonderland or Oz maybe...though, let's face it, Potter with all the specific foods and drinks to try is just unbeatable in that sense. It's such a unique thing.
That being said, Potter's still the only thing at Universal that I have interest in and I think the rest of their parks are junky. Painted cement, broken things, missing things, mismatched themes, bad sightlines. I know I have to go to Universal to get to Potter but when I am in Potter I pretend Universal doesn't exist and I just enjoy my Potter.
Disney clearly doesn't feel a need to build anything on this level because it makes enough money right now and shareholders are happy. But if they ever did build that Star Wars World then my husband for sure would be like "I am going to DHS just for Star Wars" the way I see going to Universal is just going for Potter.
This morning, I am helping my best girlfriend plan her first trip to WDW with her two little girls. She is staying on property and she is getting to use MyMagic+ and is loving it. She is asking me via fb text what she should do on what days and I am using the TPI tips and planning advice to tell her. She's getting able to setup Enchanted Tales with Belle and then planning where to eat and all that on what days. It's such a stress-free situation, as opposed to waiting until the day people get to a park and then running around like a crazy person to get Fastpasses.
Now, I can see why people who were good at getting fastpasses do not like this change to MyMagic+. Previously, these people had an advantage because they knew how to work the system and people like me who found fastpasses intimidating and didn't use it lost out. But now the playing field is being leveled. I see that this is not being received well by some people, but on the other side of the coin my friend Mia is having a relaxing day today getting all her reservations set and is happy knowing when she gets to Floria in May that she is going to be able to experience everything her girls want, without having to race around and stress and get trampled or anything.
Just wait and see. Praising Universal while all this stuff is going on at Disney is a failure to notice how far ahead Disney is going with their system. And I love how FP+ is not an extra charge like the Universal Express Pass.
I am an AP holder but no longer live in Florida, so when I took my most recent trip earlier in March, it was fantastic to book FP+ for the entire trip the day I arrived, and not have to wake up early and rush to the park upon opening, just to ride Big Thunder Mountain, Expedition Everest, and Rockin Roller Coaster (hey, I love roller coasters).
For those coming from out of the area on an actual vacation though, it depends on what kind of guest you are. If you're in relatively good physical condition and have researched exactly how to hit up the rides for maximum efficiency, this new system is a hinderance. For those who come in wide eyed and bushy tailed and full of wonder, and don't just want to relax at a leisurely pace, then I think it's a great option.
The sheer scale of WDW prevents it from doing what Universal Orlando does with Express Pass, of course. With only three hotels (Cabana Bay doesn't include the same front of the line access), it's not difficult to reward the high spenders for staying at a nice hotel. I've stayed at Hard Rock and Portofino Bay, and the Express Pass was amazing. I absolutely love it!
With that said, Disney needs to look at a tiered system for their hotel guests, as I've said before (and will say again). Value guests get 3 daily ride slots. Moderate get 4. Deluxe gets 5. Season pass gets 3. Annual pass gets 4. Premium AP gets 5.
It makes sense to me, and Disney would have yet another way to make money by up-selling on both annual passes and resort stays.
Part of me admires what Disney have done in meaning that you no longer have to stampede to Midway Mania upon opening to get a wait-free ride. Equally allowing me to book decent viewing for Fantasmic, Fireworks, etc., is a good thing. But unless it expands beyond the limit of 3 passes per day and starts to allow for park hopping Fast Pass+ will seriously compromise our experience next time and that saddens me. There's plenty of time for it to bed in and make changes so I am with-holding judgement until nearer our next visit but as it stands at present it makes Disney less attractive to me than it was....
I would like to get my 3 guaranteed attractions. I'll just leisurely walk to the preferred attraction at the appointed time. Less wear and tear on my feet.
Huh? There's a lot of assertions without saying what is worse off about Fastpass+. You get the rides you want. So you use Fastpass+ on Haunted Mansion at 9:30am. Were you supposed to not do this?
Misery all around as opposed to letting the regulars have the advantage of knowing how FP works compared to novices.
Surely the point of this argument is that Fastpass+ is distributing fast passes at times of the day when they are not needed. No one ever needed to grab a fast pass at 9.30am for the haunted mansion so what Fastpass+ has done is force a guest to cash a valuable 'front of line access' at a time when they could have walked onto the attraction anyway. That's not an improvement however you look at it....
What I see is some people like the original Fastpass because they know how best to accumulate many attractions to their benefit. Many people are left in the dust. Now, they notice some will use it differently and somehow that is a weakness. Pay attention. Everyone has a even shot. This wasn't true before.
I think she’s right. Robert and this site are one big Trojan Horse with the sole purpose to promote all things Universal and to malign all things Disney.
Look at this photo supposedly of Robert in his salad days at the Magic Kingdom.
Totally fabricated. This picture is meant to embarrass Disney. Everybody knows that all Disney employees that are allowed contact with the general public are much more attractive and intelligent looking. There’s no way that a Disney would let an employee like this work crowd control for parades. At best, this individual would be behind the scenes working in the sanitation department or in the laundry.
That nice-looking family that he supposed takes with him to the Disney parks to review the attractions and food? They’re actors; hired by the Universal PR team and given scripts to make their comments and pictures about the Disney experience seem authentic when all they are trying to do is slip in a little doubt about the quality of Disney’s attractions and food. Everything they say or do is intended to make the Universal experience seem equivalent or superior to the Disney experience.
That trip that Robert took to Asia to review the Disney and Universal parks in Japan and Hong Kong and supposedly paid for out of his own pocket? Totally funded by Universal to promote their parks in the same venue as Disney parks when even to the casual observer the Disney Parks are far superior because they have the “magic.” Universal even instructed Robert to say that Tokyo DisneySea was the best park in the world and that Disney’s Tokyo-based parks were the best two park combination in the world just so it could look like his observations were authentic while he was secretly promoting the Universal parks in the same series of articles.
The family trip to Disneyland Paris that Robert supposedly paid for out of his own pocket? Yep, you guessed it. A clever smear of Disney funded by Universal because Robert used a glowing review of Disneyland Paris to hide a hack job on the Disney Studios and to show Disney in an unfavorable light. It is all part of a greater plan to erode the Disney “magic” and to insidiously promote Universal.
The reviews of the west coast parks and the cross-country trips to the Florida parks are also part of the plan to give false authenticity to this site and to promote Universal at the expense of Disney. This site is a façade, and Robert is obviously in the employ of the Universal PR department. Even that TH Creative guy who claims to be moonlighting for the Disney PR department is a plant. Every time he says something nice about Disney, he turns around and says something nice about Universal or tries to show some current or historical pictures about the Universal parks when we all know that his only purpose is to mention Universal in the same breath as Disney. Why he even worked on Men In Black! Now if that’s not a conflict of interest, I don't know what is.
I wish I had known about the bias on this site when I joined it over ten years ago so I wouldn't have wasted all my time reading these supposedly objective articles. What a bummer! ;>)
I remember Annette on WDWMagic.com, under the alias of Patricia Melton. All she did was type the same things over and over. I would also post pictures of Islands of Adventure's lands such as Port of Entry, Lost Continent and Jurassic Park. They remained unacknowledged.
Anyways, I'm going to Hollywood Studios soon, and since I'm a Florida resident, we won't be staying onsite (more of a day trip). I'm pretty excited since I haven't been to DHS in a while, but I'm worried about actually acquiring the FastPasses themselves, since we will probably be purchasing the ticket online (the 3 park deal). Then, we will be going to MK and Epcot a few weeks or months later, and I'm curious if you have to reserve all of the passes at once (for all parks), but since we are spacing the parks out, I'm curious if they will expire after 30 days since I'll be reserving the rides at DHS way before Epcot and MK. Hopefully I don't have to reserve times for all of the parks before I go to DHS.