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Old 02-14-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
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Fast Pass Plus Episode...Are they kidding?

I have been reserving my opinion (mostly) on Fast Pass Plus until there was more information or even until it went into effect, but after listening to the podcast about it, I have to really, really wonder if maybe Disney has just gone too far.

For the life of me I can't imagine most casual, non-regular Disney visitors not thinking it's the craziest thing they've ever heard. I base this on already knowing that they think it's INSANE to book dining so far out. I've helped alot of people plan trips and booking ADR's always, always blows their mind.

"I need to know where and when I'm going to eat and reserve it 6 months before we go?! Seriously?" all the while looking at me like I've lost my mind.

So now, I can add on ... "And, you also need to reserve what rides you want to go on 60 days before you go."

I mean...close your eyes for a minute and pretend you aren't a Disney nut and you never heard of the DIS... does the above not sound crazy even to you?

Can you imagine CSR's trying to explain it to people calling to book their first trip?

I totally understand it hasn't even started yet, I know there is alot we don't know yet. I know there are some people that are going to LOVE this, but I really think it is all just be too complicated and overwhelming for many, many more people than those who like it or love it. I also know no one HAS to use it, but what is the alternative? Especially if the remove FP as it exsists now like Pete thinks they will.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:08 AM   #2
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I understand everything you wrote. It is frustrating to me and my teenagers too. But, I don't think there will be as much outcry or customer frustration as you mention (unfortunately ).

When people log on to the website to purchase tickets or buy from somewhere else, they will prompted to the the My Disney Experience to set up their trip.

When 60 days arrive, the customers will be prompted to visit again to choose their events or choose Fastpick! And Disney will conveniently reserve three FP+ a day for you (while managing park traffic -- slick). I think it will be viewed as a nice service. For those non planners it gives them a plan they could follow...

Wow! We have a fastpass reserved for toy story midway mania, star tours and Indiana Jones on Tuesday - lets go there. If they don't like the preselected plan, they will be able to switch everything up on their phones, computers or kiosks.

Most rides will have fastpass availability the morning people wake up. If everyone is limited to one FP per ride, that will make sure more passes are around later in the day. Of course it depends on crowd level.

Other than creating a feeding frenzy for Jedi training, TSMM, enchanted Tales with Belle and possibly Soarin - advance booking probably won't be that big of a deal.

The part that gets my group fired up is the limited number. If we get the TSMM, then we might have to wait standby for RnRC and tower of terror etc. Plus in MK we like to use our Fastpasses to ride Splash a couple of times.

As said in podcast, the original Fastpass was designed to increase profits. I think people have forced the system to evolve away from that, so these new changes are designed to refocus the perk and capitalize on that.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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I agree that this will change things.
Some of it may be negative for some guests, some may be positive.

I hear people say this isn't fair to the non-planners. That clueless "grandma" with no computer will be left out in the cold, without the awareness or knowledge of booking fastpasses early. My response to that is that grandma was probably not using fastpass anyway. When we go to WDW, we see the standby lines packed. We never stand in them- we know how to tour and use fastpass to our advantage. But some guests don't use fastpass.

Based on the premise that FP + only allows three FP per day, and the fact that most of us who are planners traditionally use more than that in one day, I would think that this may actually decrease FP use overall. Normally I may get several FP to Splash in one day, now I can get only one. And if guests are limited which FP the can book in a single day (like one e-ticket ride, one b-ticket ride, and one show/parade/firework) it could further decrease overall fastpasses for e-ticket rides. I have heard the theory that the very existance of regular FP was what caused standby lines to get so long. So if that theory is correct, then an overall decrease of FP for headliner rides may be helpful to the standby riders.

THere is another possible benefit to non-planners. Right now, the only way to ride TSM is to get to DHS before RD, run with the herd over to TSM and jump in line and/or get a FP. THe mob scene that generates is scary, IMO.

I wonder if fewer guests will participate in that rope drop race if they know they have a FP for TSM for the afternon. THey might sleep in or visit another park in the am.

This may free up some space for guests who did not plan their FP+ ahead of time, but do get up early to get to DHS to ride TSM at rope drop.

Whether this is true or not, I feel this is certain:
No one will be turned away at the gate because they did not prebook their FP+. THey can spontaneously enjoy a park the way they always have. It really is possible to enjoy yourself at WDW without using FP once.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #4
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I just listened to the episode and it raised more questions than it answered. We just need to wait and see what happens.

We are Disney nuts. We go to Disney World every year. But we aren't commando planners. There is absolutely no way we are going to book FPs in advance. We just don't know what park we will be in on what day. We don't decide that until the night before. It depends on what kind of mood we're in. It depends on how tired we are. It depends on what we got accomplished that day. It depends on the weather forecast. For example, if it is going to be a rainy day, we go to Magic Kingdom, not Epcot.

We also don't always book our vacation that far in advance. We stay offsite so there is no need to book months and months ahead to get a certain resort. There is an endless supply of rental properties along 192. And I don't get our tickets when I book our house. I usually order those from Undercover Tourist a couple of weeks before our trip. Besides, we still have tickets remaining from prior trips since we always took advantage of the no expiration option.

It seems that they are really working to create a class system. The great thing about FP originally is that it was available to everyone on an equal basis. It didn't matter where you were staying or when you booked. Once you entered the park, everyone had the same access. Now it seems they are going to do something much different. I can't say that I like that plan.

I disagree with Pete that guests staying in Deluxe hotels should be treated differently in the parks. Sure there are perks of staying Deluxe. You get a great room, great view, nice restaurants, fancy pools, spa, perhaps a monorail outside your door, etc. I don't see why those perks should extend to the parks.

I'm very curious to see how this all plays out. I'm definitely willing to watch and wait and give them time to test and tweak everything. All I know is that I'm not wearing a bracelet. If they can put the chip in my ticket so I can keep it in my wallet like always, that will be just fine. I can just see it now. Back home, you'll always be able to identify people who just returned from Disney because they'll have that strange tan line around their wrist.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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Like Disneysteve, we are Disney nuts who don't travel commando or make detailed plans way in advance. We visit at least once per year (8-10 days usually) and set it up that we visit late June one year and early June the next so that an Annual Pass covers 2 trips. If we can swing it, we'll throw in an extra long weekend during the year.

Since I know when we need to travel, I can book the hotel in advance, but that is about it for advance planning. We've given in the last couple years and book 1 or 2 nice meals in advance - we play the rest of our dining by ear once we are there. Since we are very adventurous eaters, that isn't usually a problem - I have never had trouble getting a reservation at Morocco whenever we want one

We definitely use fastpass in the park. After over 20 years of regular trips, we have our own "method" for each park. I can't even imagine trying to decide before we even get there, which park will we be at on which days! We usually decide in the evening which park we want to go to the next morning so we know when we have to be up. If one can reasonably get the new fastpass plus the night before, then that's fine - but if this ends up like dining and you have to book 60 days out to get a Space Mountain fastpass, we are NOT going to be happy guests.

I am also really confused on what happens to Annual Passholders with this. If I am staying at a Disney resort for 8-10 days with an AP as my admission media, do I get 3 FP+ per day like other guests or do I only get 20 for my whole trip because I use an AP and it would all be in a single "quarter" of the year? For a 10 day trip, that is the difference between having 20 or 30 FP+!

Also totally agree with Disneysteve on the idea of Deluxe resort guests getting extra passes. The perks for the money you are spending are AT the resort you are staying at. There shouldn't be a class system in the parks. Disney has never given different treatment to guests in the parks and it just seems like a very un-disneyish (OK, I'm making up words here!) idea. The closest Disney gets to preferential treatment is the "extra magic hours" for resort guests - however, they haven't severely limited park hours for everyone else to make that happen AND it is available to all resorts guests from value to deluxe. If Deluxe guests get extra FP+ - particularly if the number of "regular" fastpasses or day-of FP+ are severely limited - this is going past that line. The wealthy family gets to go on every E-ride in the parks and the non-wealthy family doesn't. (Yes, the other family can wait in the standby line, but if it is hours long for each ride, they end up able to do far less during their day in the park)

I have stayed at many, many Disney resorts over the years from Value to Deluxe and I have enjoyed each one for different reasons. At EVERY resort we have been treated as Disney guests. Value and Moderate guests should not be second class Disney guests. I do not want to feel like I HAVE to stay Deluxe just so we can go on the rides we want while we are on our vacation.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pdarrah View Post
If one can reasonably get the new fastpass plus the night before, then that's fine - but if this ends up like dining and you have to book 60 days out to get a Space Mountain fastpass, we are NOT going to be happy guests.
I wouldn't even want to do that. We do FPs all the time but we don't plan our day around them. Hopefully, you will still be able to get them that day like you can now. Otherwise, folks who didn't book in advance or are just coming for the day will be shut out of the system. Lots of guests buy their tickets when they arrive. I can't imagine Disney will make it so all of those people aren't eligible for FPs. People going on group trips, like a school trip, would have a problem too since they may not be handed their ticket until they arrive.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdarrah
Like Disneysteve, we are Disney nuts who don't travel commando or make detailed plans way in advance. We visit at least once per year (8-10 days usually) and set it up that we visit late June one year and early June the next so that an Annual Pass covers 2 trips. If we can swing it, we'll throw in an extra long weekend during the year.

Since I know when we need to travel, I can book the hotel in advance, but that is about it for advance planning. We've given in the last couple years and book 1 or 2 nice meals in advance - we play the rest of our dining by ear once we are there. Since we are very adventurous eaters, that isn't usually a problem - I have never had trouble getting a reservation at Morocco whenever we want one

We definitely use fastpass in the park. After over 20 years of regular trips, we have our own "method" for each park. I can't even imagine trying to decide before we even get there, which park will we be at on which days! We usually decide in the evening which park we want to go to the next morning so we know when we have to be up. If one can reasonably get the new fastpass plus the night before, then that's fine - but if this ends up like dining and you have to book 60 days out to get a Space Mountain fastpass, we are NOT going to be happy guests.

I am also really confused on what happens to Annual Passholders with this. If I am staying at a Disney resort for 8-10 days with an AP as my admission media, do I get 3 FP+ per day like other guests or do I only get 20 for my whole trip because I use an AP and it would all be in a single "quarter" of the year? For a 10 day trip, that is the difference between having 20 or 30 FP+!

Also totally agree with Disneysteve on the idea of Deluxe resort guests getting extra passes. The perks for the money you are spending are AT the resort you are staying at. There shouldn't be a class system in the parks. Disney has never given different treatment to guests in the parks and it just seems like a very un-disneyish (OK, I'm making up words here!) idea. The closest Disney gets to preferential treatment is the "extra magic hours" for resort guests - however, they haven't severely limited park hours for everyone else to make that happen AND it is available to all resorts guests from value to deluxe. If Deluxe guests get extra FP+ - particularly if the number of "regular" fastpasses or day-of FP+ are severely limited - this is going past that line. The wealthy family gets to go on every E-ride in the parks and the non-wealthy family doesn't. (Yes, the other family can wait in the standby line, but if it is hours long for each ride, they end up able to do far less during their day in the park)

I have stayed at many, many Disney resorts over the years from Value to Deluxe and I have enjoyed each one for different reasons. At EVERY resort we have been treated as Disney guests. Value and Moderate guests should not be second class Disney guests. I do not want to feel like I HAVE to stay Deluxe just so we can go on the rides we want while we are on our vacation.
If disney is looking at this as a moneymaker, then based on what Universal does this would make more sense. You are made to feel like a second class citizen if you dont stay on property and get the front of the line perk. I have watched it happen time and time again. Stand by lines do just that, stand, while the people with the on site perk walk right on.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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I agree with all sentiments, OP.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:05 AM   #9
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I keep going back and forth on the issue of more advanced FPs for those staying at deluxe versus moderate or value. Part of me thinks that deluxe guests pay more and therefore should get more perks. Isn't it that way everywhere else in terms of hotels and resorts? The other part of me thinks that it wouldn't be fair to those who can't stay in a deluxe resort. If I did not have DVC, that would definitely be me. Then again, should everything be fair? Why wouldn't a deluxe resort offer more amenities and bonuses? I can't see people feeling like they'd be second class citizens/guests just because they wouldn't get a few extra FPs. All tiers of Disney resorts are on property and with that comes special perks. It isn't like you'd be in steerage on the Titanic. You'd just get less FPs. This wouldn't prevent you from going out and enjoying the parks.

See? I told you I keep going back and forth.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by *NikkiBell* View Post
I keep going back and forth on the issue of more advanced FPs for those staying at deluxe versus moderate or value. Part of me thinks that deluxe guests pay more and therefore should get more perks. Isn't it that way everywhere else in terms of hotels and resorts?
But everywhere else doesn't have access to 4 main parks and 2 water parks, with multiple tiers of resorts and with access shared to the public

Quote:
The other part of me thinks that it wouldn't be fair to those who can't stay in a deluxe resort. If I did not have DVC, that would definitely be me. Then again, should everything be fair? Why wouldn't a deluxe resort offer more amenities and bonuses? I can't see people feeling like they'd be second class citizens/guests just because they wouldn't get a few extra FPs. All tiers of Disney resorts are on property and with that comes special perks. It isn't like you'd be in steerage on the Titanic. You'd just get less FPs. This wouldn't prevent you from going out and enjoying the parks.

See? I told you I keep going back and forth.
I also don't see throwing an extra FP+ choice is much of a bone for the deluxe guests, either. But if they did, it would further dwindle the supply - which could mean less choices available for that one precious E-ticket the value guests get...
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:21 AM   #11
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could someone point me in the direction of the PodCast?

(never did listen to one- but think this is something my family should listen to as they cant understand what I am trying to explain)
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by *NikkiBell* View Post
I keep going back and forth on the issue of more advanced FPs for those staying at deluxe versus moderate or value. Part of me thinks that deluxe guests pay more and therefore should get more perks. Isn't it that way everywhere else in terms of hotels and resorts? The other part of me thinks that it wouldn't be fair to those who can't stay in a deluxe resort. If I did not have DVC, that would definitely be me. Then again, should everything be fair? Why wouldn't a deluxe resort offer more amenities and bonuses?
Everything isn't fair. That's just the way life works. However, I have a problem with the deluxe guests getting a perk that negatively impacts non-deluxe guests. You can give deluxe extras but not if it means taking away from others. The more FPs they give deluxe guests, the fewer there are to give everyone else. So because my family chooses to rent a 3-bedroom house in Kissimmee rather than cram ourselves into a 400 sq. ft. room at Grand Floridian (for 4 or 5 times the cost), we are not going to have the same access to rides in the parks. I'm not okay with that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
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I'm an advanced planner. I'm learning that it's sometimes better to be spontaneous on vacation, but I can handle booking a few rides ahead of time.

My problem is the idea that those in deluxe resorts will get an advantage over others and all onsite guests will have a huge advantage over offsite guests. I haven't heard that Disney has any problem filling their ever-expanding resorts, although I imagine the growing vacation rental industry is taking some guests away.

The biggest financial effect is for those of us with larger families. In the slow season, we can get a house with three bedrooms for just over $100 a night. If we were a family of four, we could get a room in a value resort for the same price. However, as a family of five, our cheapest option is $195 a night with the youngest in a trundle bed in Port Orleans. The cheapest deluxe is about $400. I imagine the financial effect is even greater for larger families or those who travel with extended family. I know Disney is a company focused on increasing profit, but I like to forget that when I'm enjoying the magic.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
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So because my family chooses to rent a 3-bedroom house in Kissimmee rather than cram ourselves into a 400 sq. ft. room at Grand Floridian (for 4 or 5 times the cost), we are not going to have the same access to rides in the parks. I'm not okay with that.
Of course you are not OK with that. But Disney is, and should be. Disney has to look at this as rewarding people who funnel their money to it instead of redirecting that money elsewhere. Not that this necessarily describes you, but a person who rents a property with a kitchen off-site, who eats breakfast at the condo, packs a picnic lunch, eats dinner back at the condo and buys their ticket from UT gives Disney nothing but the cost that UT paid for the park ticket, plus perhaps a parking fee. Basically $300 per person for a week. $1,200 for a family of four. A similar family who stays 7 nights at a Deluxe, buys their ticket from Disney, and eats most of their meals on property will spend upwards of $7,000 for their vacation. In the eyes of the corporation that is trying to realize as much profit as possible from each visiting family, is it wrong to offer an extra perk to the family spending that much? It isn't as if the off-site guest is having anything taken away. They just aren't getting the bonus. The bonus is an incentive for you to stay on site and spend more money. That's good business.

On an airplane, you could have no fewer than four types of passengers.
  • The person who never flies on that airline, but got a great deal on a heavily discounted seat.
  • The person who flies on that airline very often and spends thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars on tickets each year, but who also bought a heavily discounted ticket.
  • The person who paid full fare for their ticket.
  • The person who bought a first class ticket.
Each of these people is entitled to board the plane and each is entitled to arrive at the same final destination. But each of these people is going to have a different experience in terms of seat selection, free drinks, a meal, free luggage allowances, etc. To think otherwise is silly. And the person who stays off-site is entitled to gain admission to the park and is entitled to ride TSM, just as the Deluxe guest is. But there is little reason why their experience should be identical. The same logic would hold true for Deluxe vs. Value resorts, except the Value guest should still stand in better shoes than the off-site guest for the reasons stated. The Dining Plan has worked like this for years. During free dining, Deluxe guests get a bigger benefit than the Value guests, and this is indeed a benefit that transfers with the guest even as they move away from the resort. It carries with them to the parks. The big difference is that with the Dining Plan, Value guests have the option of paying to upgrade the experience, which is an option that I would love to see if indeed the FP+ system evolves in a way so as to allow Deluxe guests to have more passes. Everyone who stays on-site should be permitted to pay out of pocket to achieve that same result.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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It isn't as if the off-site guest is having anything taken away. They just aren't getting the bonus. The bonus is an incentive for you to stay on site and spend more money. That's good business.
This is where we disagree. There is a very definite finite limit on the number of fastpasses available. If Deluxe guests get more, then there are fewer available for everyone else. ALL guests are paying the same admission to the park (well with some variation on 1-day vs multi-day costs per day) - if you want to go to the airplane analogy, if every single person on the plane is paying the same fare - is it OK for some guests to get drinks, but others don't get anything?

We don't know yet how they will implement FP+, but there does have to be a limit on the number available for a single ride, just as there is for regular FP now. Very popular rides like TSM or Soaring run out of FP very early in the day, however ANY guest has a chance at getting those FP. If Deluxe guests get extra FP+ that is a LOT of them - think how many rooms there are - and odds are most will go ahead and sign up for their full allotment even if they aren't sure they will use them "just in case" they do want to ride. That will be a LOT of FP for popular rides that are not available to anyone else. The more that are pre-assigned, the fewer that will be available for any kind of "day of" systems (either regular FP or some new version of FP+ that you can get in the park at a kiosk or something)

So, YES, the off-site, value or moderate guest would having something taken away - they would have a much lesser chance of getting that FP that they used to be able to get.

Dining is quite different - off site guests can still make a reservation and eat in a restaurant without a dining plan. As you said, during "free dining" a Value guest can choose to pay more and upgrade the plan. Those of us who dislike the dining plan are free to make reservations and dine in any restaurant we want.
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