Disneyland visitors still reserve Fastpass ride reservation return times the same way — by inserting their admission ticket into Fastpass machines at attractions around the two parks. But instead of using the paper ticket they get from those machines as their admission into the Fastpass return lines at each attraction, Disneyland visitors now must scan their park ticket to get into the Fastpass line.
The Fastpass machines still dispense those paper tickets, printed with your return time, but now they are intended simply as reminders, rather than valid readmission media to the Fastpass line.
The switch has led to long lines at Fastpass return points throughout the park, as guests now need to pull out their park tickets instead of simply showing their paper Fastpasses. That's a change of nearly 18 years' practice, and although Disney appears to have trained its operations staff in anticipation of the change, it's done pretty much nothing to prepare guests in advance of today's switch.
Yay. Fastpass. -___- yes, left of the blue tape is FP -_- pic.twitter.com/lwoK9S40GB— Dennis (@findingdennis) June 21, 2017
The switch prepares Disneyland to support its upcoming Maxpass system, which will allow guests who pay for that service to book and manage their Fastpass reservation via the official Disneyland app. Disneyland has not announced any plans to bring a full Walt Disney World-style Fastpass+ system to Anaheim, including advance booking of ride reservations, holding multiple reservations at once, or using MagicBands instead of cards as admission media.
But today's switch helps lays a technical foundation for any of those changes, should Disney choose to move in that direction.
Today's switch also puts an end to the long-standing "random act of kindness" tradition of handing off unused Fastpasses to other guests. Since such a high percentage of Disneyland visitors are annual passholders rather than people who obsessively have planned to spend the entire day in the park, it's common to see visitors who choose to leave early giving their unused Fastpasses to remaining guests. But since you now will need to scan your admission ticket to get access to its associated Fastpass reservation, having someone else's paper reminder slip won't get you into the Fastpass queue any longer.
Well, at least that will be the case once Disneyland starts consistently enforcing the new system. I've heard that some locations still are letting people slide in with the paper tickets and a good sob story. Don't expect that to last, however.
On the flip side, today's change also eliminates any possibility of Shanghai Disneyland-type Fastpass scalping, or of independent "tour guides" being able to collect Fastpasses from abetting passholders, who now would have to give up their tickets instead of paper Fastpass return slips to supply their return times.
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