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.
Today they're handing out return times for Anna and Elsa @WaltDisneyWorld. pic.twitter.com/Gtt8HO2Nqc— Brandi (@wdwpres) July 23, 2014
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.Tweet
I'm glad to be the select few to see Anna and Elsa. I thank Theme Park Insider for the insider tip-off back in late April.
Everything I have read seems to paint a really positive glow on the event at the studios. I understand there isn't an opportunity for a meet and greet there, but you do get a lot of Frozen fun.
But still, my real complaint is that this is a manufactured scarcity. The people playing A&E are just like you and I and millions of other people. They are low-level park employees paid near minimum-wage to put on a costume.
This isn't a million-dollar ride. It is a $50 an hour max expense, plus a thousand for a pair of dresses that last for weeks.
So, why don't they just hire another 8 employees, buy another 4 sets of dresses, and set up meet and greets in a controlled out-of-direct-view location?
Take the line through a magical castle doorway that looks like Frozen, Once through, send the people through one of 5 doors in groups of 10. No group knows where the previous group went. Behind those doors, another passage to A&E. They all dress alike -- no child knows there are 4 other sets, and instead of 89 people an hour, you put near 500 people through. You can let 5000 guests in a day experience the magic.
Why not do this? Does Disney actually like making hundreds of little boys and girls leave the park disappointed, or is it just they they hope the kids scream and cry so much in the car that the parents buy another day at the park just to land a coveted space?
Seriously -- Even 2 more actors and a simple line split would double their capacity, for almost NO cost.
That sounds pretty expensive to me - and by the time you finished, the Frozen craze may have died down and Disney wouldn't even need it anymore!
That said, I agree there should be more Annas and Elsas out there. There's no reason you couldn't have a meet & greet in each park.
As to whether it would be hard to find people who look like the characters, well the characters were animated, so nobody looks exactly like them. But I've seen a dozen excellent cosplays on the internet where they people looked sufficiently like them (I saw one excellent one at a steampunk convention with two girls playing Elsa and Merida).
I assume from other comments they already have the main entrance, and some place that looks like the castle, and the inner door, all you really would need is anterooms behind the last door, so you can send people in and then direct them left/center/right and move 3 times as many people.
Of course, I've never seen the inside of this place, so I'm sure it is much more involved than I am imagining and much harder to duplicate. I don't have a disney frame of mind, so I picture meet-and-greets as more of a walk-up affair, not a full-blown immersive experience, so probably it's a lot more expensive than I could understand.
But six hours seems excessive given the price of the ticket.
Will the characters become uninteresting in a year? Hard to imagine, given the popularity of the movie; I'd more likely expect a sequel. I mean, it is no Lego Movie, but still :-)
Adults do, kids do not. There should be some magic allowed in childhood!
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