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Paper ride-reservations tickets return to the Magic Kingdom, for the Anna and Elsa meet-and-greet

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 23, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Well, it didn't take long for Disney to bring back the equivalent of paper Fastpasses. Six months after ditching the old ride reservation system in favor of Disney's new online Fastpass+ system, paper ride-reservation tickets made their return to the Magic Kingdom today.

It's not exactly the old Fastpass system, and it's only for one attraction. Starting today, for what's called a limited time test, Disney distributed paper return-time tickets to guests wanting to wait in a standby queue for the Anna and Elsa meet and greet.

Fastpass+ reservations remain in place for Anna and Elsa, and they remain the most elusive advance reservation "gets" at the resort outside the chef's table at Victoria and Albert's. Visitors who didn't get FP+ ressies for the Frozen sisters have been left to queue in a standby line that approached wait times of six hours.

Now, instead of having people wait that long for their chance to meet Anna and Elsa, Disney is now giving those would-be standby visitors return time cards, just like under the old Fastpass system.

This means that there is no longer any walk-up "standby" line for Anna and Elsa throughout the day. Either you get a Fastpass+ reservation and wait in the Fastpass+ return queue, or you get a paper return time ticket in the morning and wait in the old return queue at your designated time. Only a limited number of guests who arrive at the location first thing after Princess Fairytale Hall opens in the morning will be admitted to the "standby" return queue. Everyone after that will have to get a paper return ticket, and those will be available first-come, first-served. Arrive after the paper return tickets are gone for the day? You're out of luck.

Temporary Tourist reported that Disney's issuing only nine Fastpass+ return times per hour for Anna and Elsa, which explains why those reservations have proven nearly impossible to get. In addition, the site reported that Disney's issuing only 80 paper return-time tickets per each hour of the day for Anna and Elsa. Combined with the Fastpass+ reservations, that gives Anna and Elsa a capacity of 89 guests per hour.

For comparison, attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain can put through about 1,200 guests per hour. The highest capacity ride in the Magic Kingdom, Pirates of the Caribbean, put through as many as 2,100 an hour when I worked there. Fewer than 100 guests per hour makes the notoriously slow-loading Dumbo look like Pirates.

Temporary Tourist said that the test will run through Friday. What do you think about Disney making attractions available on a "reservations-only" basis? Is that appropriate for ultra-low capacity attractions such as meet-and-greets? Should Disney consider this for higher capacity rides and shows?

Were you at the Magic Kingdom today? Did you try to see Anna and Elsa? Please tell us in the comments about how that went.

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Beyond CaliFlorida: Taking a leap of faith here

Jeff Elliott

By Jeff Elliott
Published: July 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Cave of the Winds (Colorado Springs) – I have an idea. Why don’t we just dispense with the safety harnesses and the cables and all of that and just shoot people out of a canon and into a slightly dampened sponge at the bottom of the canyon? I chose this video because it was the only one I could find where they bleeped out the profanity. But I wonder how well the profanity echoes in that canyon. For a place that doesn’t even have an amusement park within an hour’s drive, TERROR-Dactyl is really letting the visitors have it in the teeth…

Tivoli Friheden (Denmark) – Okay, so after this experience, the swing in the canyon looks a little on the tame side. I admit it. Oh, and there is a wee bitty o swearing in this video, so turn the sound way down if yer ears be a sensitive.

Six Flags Magic Mountain – Good job watching your mouths this last week. Your reward? You get Ninja and Green Lantern back!

Carowinds – Construction is underway on your new 325ft tall B&M roller coaster.

Kings Dominion – While we reported last week that Cedar Point is going to get some water rides from Geauga Lake, it looks like survey crews are looking over Kings Dominion as well looking for a place to stash the surplus water rides. If all they’re doing is trying to find a place to stash some excess rides, I say y’all grab your pickup trucks and meet me out back behind Geauga Lake on Friday night after close. I’ve got a backyard just begging for one of those babies.

Holiday World – The park has decided to quit making everyone sea sick and bored and will finally get around to announcing its new 2015 attraction Thursday night. For a price tag of $22 million, it has got to be big and it has got to be steel. Just as a cost comparison: Intimidator 305 – cost $25 million. Smiler - $30 million. Banshee – $24 million. Lightning Run – $7 million. Thunderbolt – $10 million.

Cedar Point – Next year’s new attraction is aimed at teens and other hard-core thrill seekers, according to the park’s general manager. That kind of buries all of our previous thoughts on the matter, because now it sounds like they are going to install an Xbox One somewhere in the park.

Grand Texas Theme Park – This project is going to be pushed over the construction phase and out of wild rumor territory. They have set some opening dates: Memorial Day 2015 for the water park, and Memorial Day 2016 for the rest of the park, including five roller coasters. If this is anything like the last couple of big independent parks that have gone up, you might want to make plans now to visit this park in the first couple of months that it is open. Speaking of Hard Rock Park (and yes, I was referring to Hard Rock Park), it seems somewhat suspicious that Hard Rock Park has five roller coasters that are waiting to be dismantled, and Grand Texas claims that they will open in 2016 with five roller coasters. Hmmmmmm….

Universal Studios Korea – It looks like the park chain has pulled out of this project. It’s okay, I’m sure the Koreans can buy their Harry Potter merchandise somewhere else.

Six Flags New England – The Cyclone will run its last run this Sunday, so you better hurry if you are going to catch that coaster credit before it goes away.

Now Hiring – Kings Island is looking to fill positions for the fall season this Thursday. “Hundreds of job” are available, but apply online first before heading down to the park.

Now Hiring – Six Flags Great Adventure is looking to hire a dozen trained dancers for their Halloween shows and 150 scare actors. Auditions will be on Friday and Saturday. Don’t forget to fill out the application online before you go.

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Looking back at a colossal history for Magic Mountain's Colossus

Jacob Sundstrom

By Jacob Sundstrom
Published: July 22, 2014 at 10:24 AM

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What are the world's most underrated attractions?

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

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Take a look at the latest Disney Springs construction photos from Walt Disney World

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 20, 2014 at 8:26 PM

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The Week Ahead: Disney and Universal schedules for July 21-27, 2014

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

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Insider's Update: New Soarin' theater, new Boardwalk restaurant, and new raises for Disney employees

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM

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Motion Picture Academy elects theme park designer Bob Rogers to its Board of Governors

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 18, 2014 at 5:20 PM

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Vote of the Week: Should Disney change Epcot's Norway pavilion to Frozen?

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM

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Disneyland celebrates its 59th birthday with plans for its 60th

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: July 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM

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