For the record, I have been a HUGE fan of Disney's free FastPass system for years, and I rave about it to anyone who is unfamiliar. I think the other parks' various EXPENSIVE front-of-line systems are completely out of the question for someone like me who scrounges for a couple years just to be able to afford to haul my family over to the mainland from Hawaii for our occasional theme park visits.
Having said that, I should fully disclose that I am somewhat relieved that FastPass+ will not be coming to Disneyland before our visit this summer. So I guess my thoughts are that I trust the Disney powers to work out the best system in the long run, but the infant stages seem to be throwing people into fits, and I'm relieved to not have to be a part of that.
So, taking that into consideration, my greatest hope is that - when I’m back in WDW next January for the first time since 2012 - Fastpass+ and MyMagic+ will have NO IMPACT on me whatsoever. I hope to be able to make my way around the parks as I always have, and I hope this talk of Fastpass+ inflating the standby line wait times is either overblown or will have worked itself out by the time I’m down there.
I don’t like the idea of being “forced” into planning out my days ahead of time to ensure I get a comparable park experience to the ones I’ve always had in the past, where no pre-planning was required for me to hit all the marquee (and not-so-marquee) attractions in one day. So if the new system is going to clog up the standby lines to the extent that Fastpasses will be essentially mandatory to ensure I can do everything I want to do (and even then there’s no guarantee FPs won’t be already “used up” for the big attractions), I won’t be terribly impressed.
Then the so called up side. I never wanted to book a restaurant in advance. Because of that I've never nor ever will eat in the castle. Now I don't want to book rides in advance and I bet in the future because of that I won't be able to ride that ride. Vacation is the maximum in freedom I can enjoy, away from my job, appointments and regular life. I can be free to eat whenever I want and decide the morning I wake up if the weather is perfect for Splash Mountain or Test Track.When I go to Orlando in December/January this and next year I'm looking forward to rent a home and visit Universal Orlando. I'm looking forward to many new rides, shows, parade, foods and drinks. No need to be branded, no need to be tagged, no need to plan 180 days in advance. Freedom=vacation.
i just wish they could do something overall to reduce the wait times, especially during summer when most families have their only opportunity to visit. Fastpass is great but you do miss some of the wonderful theming and interaction that has been creeping in to the standard lines for some time now. This is also part of the immersive feeling that Disney does so well.
A reasonable wait is OK, but the huge wait times at certain E-ticket attractions are well just crazy. What Fastpass does is make those wait times longer, while diminishing the overall experience for people in either the standard and Fastpass line. Standard equals longer wait, while FP does not get the full immersive experience.
The whole nature of WDW seems to be changing from spontaneous, family fun to a programmed, constricted theme-park.
And, now with Disney becoming involved in politics by throwing The Boy Scouts overboard in a blatant act "our way or the highway" and "too bad, kids we don't really care about you or the Scouts" we find ourselves looking to the West and something far away from WDW. Why spend our money where we are not wanted? The good thing is that we can save a few thousand dollars by going elsewhere. The have ruined a once-fine place to go to.
I don;t want to pay the Disney Price for Tickets to the parks. For 8 days with the park hopper and the water parks fun a more option, the total is wekk over $400 per person. I could buy my tickets at the Shades of Green (SOG) (military) for $373 per person.
When I was making my reservations, the cast member suggested the MWR office sells 4 day passes for $198. Two of these passes would be my 8 day pass.
I'm going to be staying at Pop Century, so I wanted to avoid the bus trips over to SOG to buy the tickets. I bought my tickets at the MWR office at Fort Meade, Maryland $396 per person for the 8 days. Unfortunately, these are "vouchers", not tickets (as they were advertised).
Here begins the problem. To add these to my Disney Experience (on the Magic Bands), I must have tickets. This means I can't add them until I show up and exchange the vouchers for tickets.
Once I accomplish this, I can make Fastpass+ reservations. Sorry, but without park tickets on my plan, I can't make Fastpass reservations.
My plan is to just follow the plan. I'll get the tickets, then add them and then make my reservations. But I should have been able to do this a long time ago. Maybe the military should be blamed for all this. They should sell tickets as they advertised.
Visiting has become a Disney video game. Only instead being the player, I'm one of those simulated people running around the park following a defined profile.
Of course they don't know me that well but give them time. They'll probably know what I will eat and spend based on my history, demographics and the weather. Along the way, they'll pretend to try to treat me special. If I have the right profit profile, I might even really be special.
We've had a trip to go to Disney planned for this May for over a year (before the Fast Pass Plus changes were starting to be implemented). The way it has affected me is now I have had to get all of our family's tickets linked up to them on my Disney Experience way in advance of our trip so we can book our fast passes in advance. The downside is there seems to be extra work in setting up your vacation now.... but the upside is not having to run around the park like crazy trying to get fast passes once you get there. It's done before you ever get in the gate now. That part I have to say I like the idea of. If I don't want to show up until noon, I don't have to now.... I can just book my passes for after that time and not worry about them being all gone when I arrive. This is a GREAT perk.
However, I am holding off on visiting Orlando for a couple of reasons:
1. I need another year of time to save up after my family's extended trip to Disneyland last year (I refuse to go into debt for a vacation!).2. In 2015, the crowds for Seven Dwarves Mine Train, HP 2.0, and Falcon's Fury will have died down a bit.
So, I was not planning on visiting Orlando in 2014 anyway, but not because of Fastpass+.
Having written that info, I am hoping that the Beta for MyMagic+ will be over by the time I do visit, and that the 1.0 version of the offering has been completely rolled out and has stabilized.
After a number of trips, the attractions a WDW are stale and the thrill is gone.
Because a lot of the people that really care about all the tracking and protecting their privacy are doing something about it.
Unfortunately, I think that FastPass+ is going to be a big downer for the casual vacationers like me, but the control freaks and the professional vacationers and the large group tour guides are going to love it. I have mixed feeling about all of this. I'm of the opinion that Disney has no choice but to implement this system. They are just too popular.
That old quote by Yogi Berra keeps coming to mind when I think about Disney World and the FastPass+ system.
“Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded”
I did not log in to leave my comment about fastpass plus. I have a log in ID, but 90 percent of the time I don't bother to log in. I suppose I don't think my name is necessary for people to read my comment and decide if it is a valid point or not.... or if they agree or disagree, etc.
Maybe if my user name was..... EXPERT ON FASTPASS + AS CONFIRMED BY ROBERT NILES AND DISNEY.... and I really wanted to attempt to impress (and I do say attempt to, as many probably would still not be impressed) I would have logged in for my anon comment.
Now back to Fast Pass Plus..... A lot of people are against planning, but even before Fast Pass plus a lot of people planned which attraction they would attempt to get fast passes for first (etc.). A lot of people already had a plan to go straight to Space Mountain or Splash Mountain or some sort of itinerary-ish ideas. Now you don't have to run ahead to do that. So there is a happy point to think about. And now you can pick your time rather than hope that when you get to the machine it is at a return time you like.
I'm visiting Disneyland for the first time this year... I'll treasure every old 'legacy' FP I can get my mitts on :-)
Disney CAN do that. They did it with California Adventure that spread the crowd more even.It's really sad this happened. The money is invested and gone.For me the magic left long ago. The many meet and great indoor location killed spontaneity in a major way. Remember the excitement you were walking in the park and a character emerged? The excitement to see Mickey or Donald? That was magical. Sure there were days you didn't see all of them but that made it special. With the rises of the prices came the demands. I'm paying 60 bucks I demand I see the rodent!
I don't understand Disney anymore. Why do you have restaurants that are constantly in demand and need 180 in advance booking and so many crappy restaurants no one cares to eat. Why not invest in what you did right and recreate something different with the same appeal? Why are all the great rides go to the parks outside the US and WDW gets Avatar? I guess most visitors don't care. They are driven by nostalgia. I was a huge Disney fan but Disney alienated itself from me. They are not the theme park leader in innovative rides and experiences anymore. Disney is now only about the little things and although they where nice it where the big things that made me excited, once.
Honestly, everyone hates change, but I completely understand the changes that are being made with this system. A lot of Disney guests are once every 5-10 year visitors, and this is the group that Disney is trying to attract (along with the mad-planning DVC guests). So many people out there spend multiples of their annual incomes for their once in a lifetime Disney vacation, and they want to plan every second to make sure they get every penny's worth. I don't blame them, and while we typically take a more value conscious approach, we still plan relatively intricately to get the most out of our admissions.
I also don't mind the guests who want to be more spontaneous or take a more leisurely approach to visiting the parks, but I do have issue with those people complaining that they can't visit the parks the way they want because they don't want to plan ahead. Queues are a part of our society now (you queue up to eat at just about every decent restaurant or attraction these days), and spontaneous people want to complain about standing in lines or crowds and then complain about having to plan in advance. Well, you just can't have it both ways, and I think this new system, while not free of flaws, is a step in the right direction to try to maximize what the parks offer. The parks have a finite number of attractions operating at finite maximum capacities. Aside from adding more rides/shows/parades/etc... the number of guests that can enjoy a day at the parks will not change dramatically from day to day.
There is no one holding a gun to your head to make your Fastpass+ reservations 120 days in advance (nor are they telling you to make dining reservation 180 days in advance), but the fact of the matter is, if others are doing it, your choice as a visitor is to get with the program or deal with the lines. This is pure speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised to see new touring plans arise in the coming months that take advantage of the guests that are obsessively planning their vacations through MyDisneyExperience, and finds attractions and things to do for guests who don't want to plan or stand in lines.
Since the popularity of WDW exploded in the early 80's and Fastpass was introduced in the 90's, people have been trying to find ways to visit the parks and see everything in minimal time. The bottom line is that with more and more guests filling the parks every year, that is getting harder and harder to do, but the new system will certainly help guests create some highlights to plan their trips around. Guests need to understand that you simply aren't going to see everything in the parks in a single day, particularly during peak attendance days.
I hate to say it, but Disney is too good for their own good in capturing the public's loyalty.