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Old 02-18-2014, 11:20 AM   #1
Magic Fanatic
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Fass Pass Plus Observations from this weekend

Normally my family and I take the motorhome down to Fort Wilderness and stay for 7 or 8 days at a time. We usually purchase the meal plan and a 5 or 7 day park hopper, depending on the trip, and spend much of our days in the park waiting for the next fast pass window to open. We have been doing this for many years.

This past week my wife and I had the opportunity to tag along with some friends for a 4 day weekend trip to Disney (Presidents Weekend). Because we were not actually on the room reservation, my wife and I bought a simple 3 day single park ticket as we were not going to be hopping around.

What I experienced has me looking at the Fast Pass Plus from both sides of the coin. First as a long time visiter to Disney World, I can certainly see how I can make it work for me and my family in the future. I know every inch of all of the parks and I know what is popular and what is not, thus where a Fast Pass would be beneficial.

However, my experience this past week with just a simple ticket has shown me how bad this new system can be for a random visiter to the park or someone who does not know enough about the parks to thouroughly plan a head.

On Friday when we entered, I went to buy our two 3-day tickets (at a cost of over $600). The lines were so long to purchase, it took us over an our just to get a ticket. There is simply just two much information being asked during the sale of a single ticket to move the lines efficiently. By my unscientific estimation (my watch), it took aproximatly 13 minutes for a customer to approach the window and leave with a ticket. There has to be a better way. Yes, I know I could have preordered tickets and that is a great option but there are still many who make spur of the moment visits that cannot plan that far a head.

The Fast Pass Plus kiosks are great in theory, but this past week end was a big mess. Granted presidents day weekend is the first real busy weekend of the new year, but the crowds are typical of a normal summer day. The kiosks where lined up 30-50 people deep. Very long wait to get a fast pass. I will credit the cast members, they were very hdlpful and did the best job they could to move the line.

The technology still seems to be very buggy. There were many times that the ride card readers had a hard time reading the imbedded chip. Not a huge issue, but still adds to frustration.

I can see this being a very frustrating experience for anyone visiting for the first time and not being aware of the layout of the parks and the more popular attractions. As for me, when we go back again for a full family vacation, I look forward to planning my days with Fast Pass Plus. It will mean I can get into the park on my schedule, ride the rides and see the atractions that I want to see and then get out and return to the pools or do other things away from Disney. I imagine this is going to keep more of my cash in my pocket because if I am able to plan well, I will be spending less time in the parks.

Just my observation....
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:41 AM   #2
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Interesting observation thanks for the input. From reading the boards and following people on their trips on Facebook or Twitter I've seen many different observations. You are one of the only ones that have said that if you were on your typical week long vacation that this would work better but since you weren't it was not so great. I think over time the technical issues with the new system will get better as it technically isn't completed yet. I also think over time kiosk wait times will go down because CMs and repeat guests will get the hang of the new system.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borishack View Post
And first/one time visitors (a large chunk of the WDW audience) won't get the hang of it. Their first experience in a WDW park will be....standing in a slow-moving line to reserve experiences.

Bottom line: from the get-go, this system has violated the primary axiom of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" and as the OP observed is not necessarily going to get the seasoned visitor to spend more in the parks.

And just wait for the howling to really start here, once when Disney (as it is abundantly clear they are planning to do) introduces a "pay for play" structured fastpass system. Those with means will wait for nothing while the peasants have their "express opportunities" rationed.
No amusement park would ever do this! Oh wait!!! Universal already does this. Same with Sea world!
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:58 PM   #4
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If you have an account setup, can you link the band that you get as an off-site or single day (or even three day as in the example above) up to it and avoid the kiosks?

As an example, say I go to Orlando for a business trip, decide to buy a 3 day ticket... could I then just link that to my account, and once I get in the park, use my smartphone to choose the FP+?

If not, I imagine that will be coming sooner rather than later.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #5
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If you have an account setup, can you link the band that you get as an off-site or single day (or even three day as in the example above) up to it and avoid the kiosks?

As an example, say I go to Orlando for a business trip, decide to buy a 3 day ticket... could I then just link that to my account, and once I get in the park, use my smartphone to choose the FP+?

If not, I imagine that will be coming sooner rather than later.
Yes. You can choose to set up FP+ on your smart phone or computer through my Disney experience well before you even arrive at WDW. Everything is supposed to be linked together on your magic band same as dinner reservations and park tickets.

My advice to anyone who can is to utilize this feature and avoid the kiosks at all costs... I know I intend to.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Asuva03 View Post
Yes. You can choose to set up FP+ on your smart phone or computer through my Disney experience well before you even arrive at WDW. Everything is supposed to be linked together on your magic band same as dinner reservations and park tickets.

My advice to anyone who can is to utilize this feature and avoid the kiosks at all costs... I know I intend to.
The poster was asking about using a band from a previous resort stay to set up advance FP's later. You can't actually do this unless you have another stay booked.

And to answer their question, having a band isn't what allows you to book in advance. International guests don't even get theirs until check-in. You need an MDE account, a resort reservation and tickets linked to your account. AP holders are just now getting the option to book some FP's in advance.

Nothing is actually on your MB -- it's just a way to access the information in your MDE account.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ilovemk76 View Post
No amusement park would ever do this! Oh wait!!! Universal already does this. Same with Sea world!
I see so you are from the school that says it is OK because others have done it too. ....
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:00 PM   #8
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Let's not forget that you don't HAVE to use the fast pass system. Some people simply choose to go through the parks at their own pace and don't worry about fast passes. So, first time visitors who won't catch on can still manage to have a great visit and just not worry about FP. If you're gonna stand in line an hour to schedule fast passes you could be standing in line at a popular ride. Just sayin'
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
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an informative post, OP.
in general it sounds like fast pass rewards the folks who spend time online preparing ahead of time for the trip. i'm ok with that and will be sure to do so. granted i'm the type that enjoys spending the hours on the experience page and setting up the reservations and whatnot. if you're the spontaneous type, well, you're going to be waiting in lines
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BayouDiz66 View Post
Let's not forget that you don't HAVE to use the fast pass system. Some people simply choose to go through the parks at their own pace and don't worry about fast passes. So, first time visitors who won't catch on can still manage to have a great visit and just not worry about FP. If you're gonna stand in line an hour to schedule fast passes you could be standing in line at a popular ride. Just sayin'
I agree, but it was my experience on Friday afternoon at 2:00 that every ride had at least an hour wait and many two hours or more.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:38 PM   #11
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I agree, but it was my experience on Friday afternoon at 2:00 that every ride had at least an hour wait and many two hours or more.
And THAT'S why I think they may have no idea what they're doing...
1-2 hour waits are bad for all parties involved.

That sounds like the pre-fastpass era on steroids
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:02 AM   #12
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And THAT'S why I think they may have no idea what they're doing...
1-2 hour waits are bad for all parties involved.

That sounds like the pre-fastpass era on steroids
The amount of people in line fortune rides is a result of park attendance and not FP+. FP or per-FP, the ride capacity is still the same.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Borishack View Post
And first/one time visitors (a large chunk of the WDW audience) won't get the hang of it. Their first experience in a WDW park will be....standing in a slow-moving line to reserve experiences. Bottom line: from the get-go, this system has violated the primary axiom of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" and as the OP observed is not necessarily going to get the seasoned visitor to spend more in the parks. And just wait for the howling to really start here, once when Disney (as it is abundantly clear they are planning to do) introduces a "pay for play" structured fastpass system. Those with means will wait for nothing while the peasants have their "express opportunities" rationed.
the if it isn't broken don't fix it line isn't going to work because they didn't fix it they wanted to digitalize it with an ease of access type thing with the magic bands. Disney also wanted to give more people the chance at a FP.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:38 AM   #14
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I agree after using the fast pass system that it is great for my family and the way we like to visit the parks. We know just wha to get fast passes for and what rides we don't need them for.

The thing I don't understand is all of the complaints about a free perk. Remember Disney doesn't have to give everyone fast passes. They choose to. Every other park I've ever been to has had the express passes. However these other parks either make you pay for the express pass or are only for resort guests. I for one am thankful that Disney thinks enough of its guests to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the use of these passes. No one says that they have to be used. So if you don't like it, don't use it. No skin of anyone's back. Just remember fast passes or no fast passes, you are in Disney world!!!!! Enjoy it, it's my happy place and I hope you like it too
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by plutoloversmom View Post
I agree after using the fast pass system that it is great for my family and the way we like to visit the parks. We know just wha to get fast passes for and what rides we don't need them for.

The thing I don't understand is all of the complaints about a free perk. Remember Disney doesn't have to give everyone fast passes. They choose to. Every other park I've ever been to has had the express passes. However these other parks either make you pay for the express pass or are only for resort guests. I for one am thankful that Disney thinks enough of its guests to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the use of these passes. No one says that they have to be used. So if you don't like it, don't use it. No skin of anyone's back. Just remember fast passes or no fast passes, you are in Disney world!!!!! Enjoy it, it's my happy place and I hope you like it too
Whoa, wait a minute. Fast Pass is not simply a free perk. Disney is actively marketing the benefits of Fast Pass Plus in all of their current Print, Television and Social Media advertising. This "new and improved" edition of the Fast Pass is being marketed at the very same time they raised ticket prices. I would almost agree with your position where several years ago Fast Pass was available, but not a point of advertising, but now it is the center of advertising (to sell tickets) and thus is in no way a "free perk". When you tell me that my trip includes Fast Pass Plus, then it is now understood to be included in the purchase of my ticket...nothing free there. Disney is pushing it so Disney now owns it when it does not work as advertised and we (the consumer) have every right to complain. The fact is, to make the most of the system you most jump through many "preplanning hoops". It is not quite as simple as advertised, especially of you are a single day visitor. Disney is not giving "everyone a fast pass", we are paying for every single one of them via the most expensive tickets of any amusement park in existence.
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