Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
The Master

WDW Replaces Paper FastPass with FastPass+

Recommended Posts

According to Screamscape and Miceage, AK and MK have done away with the paper based Fastpass system. Now you have to go to kiosk centers to make ride reservations at available times. Also they now only allow 3 fastpass reservations a day for guests. Personally, I think this really sucks on toast.

 

When I fly out to Disneyland I use more than 6 fastpasses in a day, so this would really limit the number of rides I can get on in a day. I have read the operating cost for the wristband system for WDW are much higher than they planned and forcing Disney to cut budgets to help pay for it, even budgets at other resorts like Disneyland that don't even have the wristbands. I just think this is a really bad move by Disney.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I usually try to find something good in a major move like this, but I'm having a hard time doing so now. Reduced amounts of FP's per day? Expensive wristbands to produce that continually glitch? Cancelled Star Wars and Cars lands in Hollywood Studios? All for the same planning abilities that Touring Plans (www.unofficialguide.com) has had for years and at less cost? Sorry Disney, but you dropped the ball on this one. Disney does many things right (the concept art for Pandora looks awesome!) but not this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides cutting those projects at WDW, they are also cutting or holding projects at other resorts. Because of the bands at WDW, Disneyland's much needed Tomorrowland remodel budget has been cut, and phase two put on hold. The budget for Disneyland's 60th Anniversary plans has also been cut because of WDW's bands.

 

The other bad thing about the new Fastpass+ is that Disney hotel guests can make advanced ride reservations while non Disney hotel guests can only make ride reservations that day in the park. This can allow fastpasses to run out days ahead of time instead of hours.

 

The old Fastpass system was decent and very fair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, people getting to DHS first thing in the morning and finding that TSMM is booked until 6:00 at night are not happy.

 

In addition they have begun introducing tiers of attractions in EPCOT. Of your 3 FP+ reservations you get one "tier 1" (Soarin', Test Track, Character Spot or Maelstrom) and two "tier 2" everything else which is generally a walk-on or a short line to begin with.

 

I think it's only a matter of time before they decide to help recoup the ever growing costs by monetizing the system and selling additional ride reservations. The whole project is WAY over budget and WAY behind schedule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been to WDW since they started enforcing the Fastpass return times. Although it was disappointing to see the times being enforced, I figured it would probably change my touring strategies but still be manageable. Now with the Fastpass+ I'm really not happy. I don't want to plan what park I want to go to 2 months in advance (if staying on site) especially if weather causes you to change plans at the last minute and if not staying on site what's to say that there will be same day availability for the top rides especially during peak times.

 

3 Fastpasses a day isn't nearly enough for the Magic Kingdom and I really don't want to choose between Toy Story Mania or Rock N Rollercoaster for Tier 1. Not to mention this also eliminates any chance of getting multiple Fastpasses for the same ride in 1 day. In past trips we almost always pulled 2 sets of Fastpasses for Test Track and Toy Story Mania which isn't going to happen now.

 

With these changes and others like prices going up every year and less being offered like 2 hours of Extra Magic Hours, I'm really in no rush to return. It should be interesting to see what happens when Diagon Alley opens up at Universal. Although there is a lot I don't like about Universal, I have to admit it was nice to stay in a hotel room for just over $200 that was way nicer than a deluxe resort at Disney and have unlimited Express Pass for 2 days.

 

I have also heard standby times are way up on rides that never used to have much of a wait especially during slow times like Pirates of the Caribbean and that fast pass return lines are longer than normal with people having trouble scanning their bands or getting error messages.

Edited by Yoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though Fast Pass works well and the Magic Bands made our last trip more hassle-free, I sometimes wish there weren't any "skip to the head of the line" programs at parks. I also sometimes wish people didn't feel that cellphones were such a necessity. I find it disturbing that you now go to a place like WDW and no one is even paying attention to the scenery or theming but instead staring at their phones.

 

I remember going to Walt Disney World in the '80s and '90s before Fast Pass and phones and you could actually tour the park in a land by land manner - taking in all the attractions and features of a land and then transition to the next. Today with all these programs you are almost required to jump all around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. I don't like programs that allow the line to be skipped but I can tolerate it at a park like Great Adventure since pass prices are so cheap (it would bother me more if Disney who is charging so much more would start charging more for extra Fastpasses) and I can plan my trips to the park when I know crowds are low so I don't have to wait in long lines. If Great Adventure had a program like Fast Lane at Cedar Point where people have instant access to the Fast Lane entrances as much as they wanted making the regular lines much longer, I don't think I would go to the park as often. I also agree about the phones.

 

When I am at Disney the only time I am using my phone is as a camera. I do use my phone a lot at Great Adventure but those are during mostly solo trips when there is nothing else to do while waiting for a coaster.

 

There also used to be more slower times in the 80s and 90s which was nice. I remember going to the parks the 1st week in December, a few times in the 80's and the parks were empty and there were no lines for anything. From reading other sites, it appears that now during the slow times they have more promotions and more tour groups so there really isn't an empty time there anymore.

Edited by Yoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the problem is the population is always increasing, making lines for everything longer, making traffic worse, spreading resources out thinner, etc. I have noticed all the parks are more crowded than they used to be, even GADV and Dorney.

 

At Disneyland I usually get 3 fastpasses just for Indy, besides getting fastpasses for other rides such as BTRR, Rodger Rabbit, Star Tours 2, and Space Mt.

 

I liked Disney's old fastpass, you could get a ticket for a major ride, then go do the nearby smaller rides or get a meal while you wait. It was nice and fair since everyone could use it free with admission. The only skip the line program I liked. I think what was happening was WDW's fastpass was getting overwhelmed by the ever increasing crowds, so they use the bands to mask new limits which the limits themselves are bandaid. I think the WDW parks are getting more guests than they can handle now.

 

Also I am sick of seeing cellphones everywere in parks. I never bring one in and I don't even own a smartphone because I dislike that they can track, watch, and record where you go with them. But now you will be at a disadvantage without one at WDW now which isn't fair because I choose not to be a slave to a phone.

Edited by The Master

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Disney world! I've been there 5 times and can't get enough. This is all about money. They will sell more or have a special park pass option to have more fastpass. The old way was better and there was hardly ever a wait in the fastpass lane. You do miss alot of the scenery in the queues though. I was last there in november 2011 on my honeymoon. We also went to universal and there, you pay extra on your park ticket for a skip the line pass and you can reuse it as many times as you want, no "reservation". This works well unfortunately it wasnt busy when we went because it was a rainy day, so it was a waste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pictures from this past weekend I saw posted on DISBoards. If this is going to be the new normal waits it's going to be even more time consuming to use Fastpass+

 

Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass+ Return Line

1521320_10104490079506494_654653858_n.jp

 

 

Fastpass+ Kiosk

1513256_10104489051242144_340823355_n.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's really screwed up right now. Hopefully they iron things out soon. It's only been years and $1 BILLION plus in development. Of course when they can't even get the phone app right yet and it's sending people to the wrong places for their restaurant reservations, I have serious doubts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

those are some scary lines! I know they have a long wait ahead of them. I feel bad. Waits for Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain can easily be hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, the more I see of the MyMagic+ program, the more I disagree with it all together since the old system worked just fine with no problems. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Especially when you break the system in trying to "fix" it.

 

IMO, they should just add regular FP to the additional FP+ attractions, produce the room cards again, and move past MyMagic+ as if it never happened, but they probably won't do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Fantasyland picure reminded me of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. The first thing guests did in the morning was rush for Fastpass tickets. The lines for the Fastpass machines sometimes were over an hour and yet the rides they were getting FP tickets for were walk-on at the same time! I couldn't figure that one out!

 

Hong Kong Disneyland was a different story. At the rope drop, all those guests raced for the characters and the meet and greets. The lines for the rides were almost non-existent!

 

Not sure what the FP situation is like in Disneyland Paris. I went there in 1996 before Fastpass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DCA is the same with Car's Land, people rush to ride it in the morning, or wait in line for the fast pass to open which is a half hour later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disney CFO gives the real reason for MyMagic+, to get visiters to preplan everything including rides so they are less inclined to visit nonDisney, Orlando attractions.

 

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-05-07/on-the-call-disney-cfo-explains-mymagic-plus

 

They should have spent that billion on improving their parks instead of trying to "trap" guests more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow Disney, digging so low down to get money? Come on, I know they're better than that. When a park/resort is as popular as Disney World, all that needs to be done is add new attractions and stay relevant. IMO the proposed new Star Wars and Cars lands in addition to Avatar and New Fantasyland would bring in more money. Disney could say they've added 4 new themed areas to counter Universal's steady addition of new rides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Living down here and visiting the parks, it's interesting to see how many people do go from Universal and SeaWorld to Disney and vice versa. Americans often seem to only go to Disney because they seem to be brainwashed into doing the same thing year after year, while foreign tourists seem to hit them all. In fact British tourists seem to make SeaWorld and Busch Gardens higher priority than Disney many times (in fact I've met quite a few Brits with annual passes for SW/BGT because they visit a few times a year). With the new addition to Wizarding World coming this summer, along with the Transformers and Simpsons additions at Universal there will be an even bigger number of guests who take time out of the Orlando trip to go to the other parks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WDW has been relying too much on trapping guests instead of improving their parks more. Their competition has caught up with them now and they are grabing at straws to regain their lead.

Edited by The Master

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Exactly. They pretty much came out and said it in the article posted a few posts above. I honestly want to see Universal put a big dent in Disney's income so they'll notice and realize that new rides are the key to bringing people in, not some glitchy way to plan a vacation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole system was supposed to start rolling out to the other Disney parks as well, so it will be interesting to see if or when that actually happens. I'm guessing eventually it will go to California, but I have to wonder how long it will take and how it will have changed by the time they do it. I've heard that the management in California is fighting any effort to bring it. Seeing how many hundreds of new cast members they've had to hire here on Orlando to make it work, I'm not surprised and until they can get those numbers down I don't see them moving forward in other parks. California is also a "local" park which gets a huge percentage of attendance from locals with annual passes, and annual passholders are the guests most upset by the changes made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disneyland is much more of a local park than WDW. The LA metro area has alot more people than the Orlando Metro area. Disneyland doesn't even try to trap guests like WDW has for years. Disneyland even allows outside food and drinks in the park. Overall just a lot less PITA than WDW which is why I travel to DL instead.

Edited by The Master

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't Disney World allow outside food and drinks as well? I thought you just couldn't bring in a cooler, alcohol and glass containers.

Edited by Yoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...