They need to get that third theater constructed as soon as possible at Epcot.
It sure would be nice to one day visit a Theme park (besides Worlds of Fun which is largely empty every Sunday - Thursday morning, of course) where waiting in standby lines has been removed from the equation.
This is dreadful guest service if it's truly being implemented as reported; I expect better of Disney than to turn guests away from attractions that aren't closed for refurbishment or due to technical difficulties.
This is not practical advice. If Soarin' is a must-see ride, then you should definitely get the Fastpass+. Demand creates the scarcity. It is likely that you can get last-minute Fastpasses for Test Track and Space so you really shouldn't worry about those attractions. Once all Fastpasses are gone for Soaring', you will have to try again another day and that is also impractical.
Disney are taking a horrendous line and saying to their guests "rather than wait for 2 hours or more bored out of your brain why don't you go and enjoy yourself somewhere else for a couple of hours then come back and wait a much shorter time for a guaranteed ride?".
So they are making my experience much more enjoyable and you guys are complaining that this is somehow poor customer service?
Get off your anti-Disney horse folks and recognise this for what it is - this is great customer service. It's dealing with a long line and freeing guests from tedium.
I can't imagine anyone on this site really disagreeing with the addition to another attraction Epcot though. So Disney, make it happen!
That is true Anon. However, if you are prohibited from reserving Fastpass+ return times for both Soarin' and TestTrack, then this gives guests another potential strategy to see both attractions, assuming they cannot take advantage of the single rider line on TestTrack. If a guest knows that Disney is handing out paper Fastpasses to guests for Soarin', meaning that you don't need to physically wait in the standby line (remember the entire Fastpass system is based on the theory that guests with Fastpasses are actually waiting in line, just not at the attraction) for Soarin', why would you waste your 1 top Tier Fastpass+ on that when you could instead get one for TestTrack while getting the paper return card for Soarin'. It allows guests to essentially beat the tier system without having to physically wait in a standby line.
I'm not advocating the strategy, because it's difficult to tell how guests will react to this news or how precisely Disney is planning to employ the policy (Are they only doing it on peak days?--Do I sacrifice my Soarin' reservation for a trip 2 months from now in the hope that they're still doing this in October?). However, if you are a fan of both rides and want to try to avoid the conundrum of picking between the two for your one top tier Fastpass+ reservation, it might make sense to choose TestTrack and pick up a paper return card for Soarin'.
Just like when the Fastpass+ system was first brought online, it's going to take some time and reports from guests to determine what works best, and how precisely the system is working. I agree that there's a chance that if a guest tries to beat the system by counting on the paper return cards being available, they are taking a risk of potentially not getting on at all, but perhaps some guests are willing to take that chance, and could benefit greatly from doing so.
A similar strategy could apply to Toy Story Mania (this is the other attraction I could envision this happening to) if you're also a big fan of Rock 'N Rollercoaster and cannot take advantage of the single rider line.
You can't fault Disney for building some of the best theme parks in the world, but you can fault them for being way too actuarian when it comes to investment in their parks. They really need to get away from primarily making decisions based upon maximizing revenue, and put a little more consideration to keeping and building the goodwill they have engendered over the years.
But as long as the sheep keep flocking to Disney, they're going to keep doing what they're doing.
Go, Universal, go!
Because.... you might be so late to get your Soarin' paper fastpass that you'll might not get one at all. I said this already. The Test Track fastpass isn't hard to get. In fact, it is much easier to get and you can get it even on "busy" days.
These attractions are not equal. Epcot might allocate Soarin' and Test Track to be Tier 1 attractions, but you can't tell me Test Track is more popular than Soarin'. When I arrived in May, Test Track had a 5 minute standby wait time at 11am while Soarin' already had a 90 minute wait time. Whenever you check the wait times, Soarin' and Toy Story Mania have the longest waits.
"I agree that there's a chance that if a guest tries to beat the system by counting on the paper return cards being available, they are taking a risk of potentially not getting on at all, but perhaps some guests are willing to take that chance, and could benefit greatly from doing so."
You can't benefit greatly by taking a chance on not getting on this ride. Please.... Test Track is not hard to get on even on a busy day.
Epcot needs new rides, and by that I don't mean another theater for Soarin'
Everyone's priorities are different, and I think Robert, along with others, including myself, are merely offering potential strategies. Just because you, the high-and-mighty Fastpass+ master, don't agree with them, doesn't mean they won't work. The whole system is still extremely new, and strategies are changing every day, particularity when Disney changes the rules like this particular situation (and the Anna and Elsa situation and the ability to get more FP+s beyond the first 3). I don't understand why you feel the need to beat down every suggestion that's offered just because it doesn't fit with the way that you visit the parks. Believe it or not, some people that visit WDW don't mind getting up early and stay up late to maximize their visit, and are willing to do whatever tricks they can take advantage of to get on as many attractions as possible in a day. In contrast, there are those that like to sleep in, go to the park to experience the 3 things they have FP+ reservations for and leave. To each their own, but to dismiss a potential strategy because it doesn't fit with the way you visit the parks is not very productive to the discussion.
From what I've read about the FP+ system is that it seems to work with a number of different strategies, and rewards power users (maybe not as much as before) as well as more laid-back guests. To say one strategy is better than another, or to dismiss an idea out of hand is neglecting the fact that different people have different priorities when visiting WDW.
The fact of the matter in this instance is that guests can either reserve a FP+ reservation for Soarin' or TestTrack. If a guest wants to guarantee themselves a ride on TestTrack and don't really care about Soarin' (many people really don't like it, and hate the fact that there are always ridiculous like for such an overrated attraction), they should use their top Tier FP+ for TestTrack, and the new paper system gives them another opportunity to experience Soarin' beyond the absurd standby lines if they're so inclined. Sure, there's a good chance additional FP+ reservations are available later in the day for TestTrack, but what happens if a guest has a dinner reservation or heaven forbid, actually has a FP+ reservation for Illuminations or their Soarin' FP+ reservation is extremely late in the day (essentially locking them out of additional reservations for the entire day), then they would be forced into the standby line to experience the attraction they most wanted to ride. That's completely counter intuitive to the way FP+ was supposed to be used, and puts the guest in the same situation they were in before the new system was put into place.
LOL!! What was that all about.
I do accept your strategy as one possible option, but I still don't understand why you would not accept a Fastpass+ reservation for Soarin'. If Soarin' isn't your priority, then go ahead an reserve Test Track.
It doesn't make sense to not make a reservation for the most popular ride in Epcot just because you also want a reservation for the second most popular ride. So you strategize by reserving the second and hoping to get the paper fastpass for the first, WHICH I must advise you WILL definitely put you out further than 3 hours minimum. You could very well have your dinner reservations or Illuminations plans ruined.
Or you will settle for missing out on Soarin' and you'll leave the park knowing that your never should have prioritized Test Track since the Standby wait time might very well be 5 minutes after Orlando has its daily rainstorms and Test Track shuts down for a few hours and the immediate aftermath is a short 10 minute wait. There is no risk of Soarin' shutting down since it is all indoors.
Don't let me dissuade you from your plans.
I think the whole system is a good idea, if it is controlled well. If it gets to where you have to go to Soarin early in the day to have any chance of getting on, then of course, it is not going to end well. They need to have some way of limiting the amount of passes given so that you can come later in the day and still get on. I think it will be a hit or miss.