Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-08-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
Laketravis
FP is just fantastic, that is really what I think. Oh by the way.. which one's Pink?
 
Laketravis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,754

16 Days of MB and FP+

We decided to spend both Thanksgiving week and the first week of December at WDW, thinking that would provide the experience of a busy week and a not so busy week.

Clearly, the first week of December "felt" just as busy as Thanksgiving week to us. But that isn't the point of this thread - it is a multifaceted analysis of our experiences with MB and FP+

Dates of stay: 11/21 - 12/7
Resort: CSR
Package: 10 day park hoppers with water parks & more
FP+ Reservations made: 90
Total Cumulative Park Entries: 80

As we did a split stay (first two nights were room only), we were provided with two sets of MB's and two sets of KTTW cards. While both sets of cards were able to pull legacy FP's during the duration of our visit, we made limited use of them.

MB's for ROOM ACCESS:

We had no issues with the MB's opening our resort room door.

MB's for POS PURCHASES:

We had no issues with the MB's making POS purchases.

MB's for DINING TRANSACTIONS:

There were often issues with dining being able to complete the transaction and the server often blamed a weak wifi signal as the cause.

MB's for PARK ENTRY:

We visited no less than 2 parks each day, DQ and BB several times for a total of 80 individual access requests. We encountered a 50% probability that at least one of us could not complete the access request on the first try, and had to make several attempts before getting the "Green Swirl". Our 8 year old had the highest rate of success as his fingerprint read was not required.

MB's for FASTPASS PLUS:

This use of MB's was much more reliable than park access requests. Failures requiring multiple reads were minimal, and all reservations were recognized.

PARK ENTRY EXPERIENCE:

MB's have a visible impact on queuing, being much slower than the previous card insertion/fingerprint read process. The MB read is the slower component of the two as the fingerprint read takes the same amount of time as before.

Furthermore, the multiple reader stations physically setup in a one-behind-the-other are not queue efficient and compound the delay. Often, the line stops behind the person at the first reader while the next reader is vacant. This requires CM's to constantly prod the line. The design team clearly felt it would be more efficient to have 4 readers to 1 CM in much the same fashion 4 self-checkout stations are monitored by 1 cashier at the grocery store. But in practical use the process is much slower because there is now 1/4 the resource available at a time for assistance. Yes, it's cheaper in terms of labor - but it does increase the cycle time.

And since there is now only one CM per four possibly simultaneous access requests, that labor savings is destroyed because the high percentage of failed reads requires a second group of escalation CM's manned with iPads who divert failures from the queue for a more time consuming process of troubleshooting. This would be extremely concerning as a static number of troubleshooters are always required even if there are no errors for a period of time (wasted resources).

The entire process is visibly much less efficient than the legacy turnstyle stations and requires much more administrative overhead. An unintended consequence is now the lack of a physical barrier to entry; while not currently a huge issue now, I did on more than one occasion see individuals walk right past the readers and into the park (out of frustration, not fraud) while the CM was busy asking another guest if that was the same finger they've been using.

THE MDE PHONE APP:

I won't waste much time on this - it's buggy, it's slow, it suffers from tactile latency, and it's a battery drainer. But I consider it peripheral to everything else - suffice it to say if McDonald's offered an app that let me order from my phone and then seemed primarily concerned with my ordering experience and less so with my impression of the actual meal, I'd be disappointed.

FP+ EXPERIENCE:

Okay, this is where it is going to get deep.

Let's start with an observation I made in two different parks with two different headliners, Expedition Everest and Tower of Terror.

EE had 6 legacy FP machines and 1 FP+ machine.

ToT had 5 legacy FP machines and 1 FP+ machine.

At both attractions, there was one CM stationed behind the legacy FP machines in the event a guest needed assistance - which was rare.

But behind the single FP+ machine at each attraction, there were SIX iPad-armed CM's working, troubleshooting, explaining, and ultimately providing paper FP's to guests.

Yes, you read that correctly they were providing paper FP's to guests because the FP+ system was "down". I spent several hours watching these two FP Distribution nodes, to the point the CM's were speaking freely with me. More often than not, they would lose the wifi connection or the system would freeze in the middle of guiding a guest thru their "experience".

The one-half of the team that was obviousy IT would then take over running their quiet little diagnostic buzz while the other half of the team would provide the guest with a paper FP.

And this is where the biggest fault of the entire project became most evident to me - it is a project being spearheaded primarily by a technical department. And when too much autonomy is given to a technical department, that is when budgets are over-run, expensive equipment and software is purchased that requires maintenance and additional overhead, and the technical geeks are often plagued with a binary sense of success. Meaning, it either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't, we'll fix it - and if it works, well then - it works!

"My Disney Experience" is just that - it's like spending a day in the cube of a techno geek. Remember the Saturday Night Live skit about the company computer guy? The technical CM's at Disney are much the same characters.

"What do you mean you don't like the app? It let you make a reservation for the People Mover, didn't it?"

That is the problem - this whole FP+ thing is not guest-centric, it's process-centric. So as long as the wifi signal is strong enough or the Mickey goes Green on the first attempt, it's deemed a success.

So I struck up several conversations with the CM's who couldn't help but notice how long I had been standing around and seemed a little defensive when my response was "I'm just watching" when they asked me if I needed any help.

When I made a comment to one of them how it took six CM's for one FP+ station when six legacy FP stations only needed one CM and that seemed terribly inefficient to me, he was quick to point out how much better the FP+ system is.

"Really?" I asked. "But these guests who the six of you are trying to assist seem really frustrated with the process".

Oh no, he replied. He then proceeded to tell me about the elderly, somewhat disabled guest who expressed to him how extremely grateful she was for FP+ because she had been coming for years and had never been able to ride Toy Story Mania until this last visit when the wonders of FP+ came thru for her and she was able to reserve her spot on the ride.....

And as I wiped the tears from my eyes, I asked him...... "why not just increase the capacity of the popular attractions?"

That was when another CM jumped in and told me that she has heard nothing but positive things about FP+ from....well, corporate.

I explained how it seemed to be three groups of guests forming. Those who like FP+, those who are confused by FP+, and those who hate FP+. And that there seemed to be a lot more people in the last two groups than the first.

She made the comment to me that those who didn't like FP+ are the ones who are confused, and that is when I realized that they just aren't listening.

The CM's charged with pulling off FP+ have been given a completely different batch of Kool-Aid than the rest of the CM's. They are almost defensive in nature when someone criticizes FP+, and quick to give a speech on how wonderful it is by giving everyone the opportunity to experience their favorite attraction once during their visit to WDW.

Then why not just build more favorite attractions?

Ahhhhh........but FP+ is now too big to fail. That's right. Too much money has been invested, too many promises made, too many careers dependent.

FP+ cannot fail. It is a sunk cost. Aside from the rest of the posts debating whether you like it or not or whether it makes lines longer or shorter, the fact is the entire NexGen/MDE/FP+ endeavor requires such a great deal of ongoing marketing, guest education, administrative overhead and upkeep that I believe Robo's theoretical post about the end of FP+ may just have a chance at reality.

Because it is NOT a new guest experience. It is a process, an infrastructure, an additional liability that attempts to leverage existing experiences, attractions that are reaching the end of their nostalgic capital and are not being replaced.

It is a concept born of and driven by an objective to squeeze more money out of park guests. When a company invests in RFID's on the bottom of every drink cup, metered beverage dispensers that require a connection to the corporate database, and additional hi-tech manpower to now maintain what used to be a relatively low-maintenance process to dispense a beverage in order to squeeze another point or two on the margin, do you honestly believe they would spend a billion dollars on magic bracelets to enhance YOUR experience?

SO WHAT GOOD IS FP+ ?????

Okay, here's how I think it's best to take advantage of this beast while it is still around:

Be at park opening and pick one headliner to ride in the first 30 minutes while the Standby line is still short. Save your FP+ reservations for the afternoon or evening. And try not to feel like you wasted a FP+ on Figment when the Standby line was only 5 minutes.

Because the global effect of FP+ is that the harder WDW tries to make it work, the more it WILL increase the Standby line time for all attractions for the greatest portion of the day. And that is what yield management is all about.

So yeah, that's it. The only benefit to FP+ is you can reserve your spot on your favorite 90 second experience later in the day when the Standby line is an hour or more. Pick another two less desirable experiences and you're done.

Now, what do you do with the other 11 hours, 57 minutes and 30 seconds you have left over now that you've had a chance to "experience" your favorite attractions?

Spend money!

Last edited by Laketravis; 12-08-2013 at 06:47 PM.
Laketravis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
mesaboy2
Using a certain word brings out a special kind of cray-cray

 
mesaboy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 24,797

Thanks for such a detailed report!
__________________
WDW: 45 visits (4 MNSSHPs, 1 MVMCP, and 400+ M&Gs);
DLR: 1 visit DLH; Tokyo: 1 visit; DCL: 1 5-night Dream; Universal Orlando: 11 visits
The Six-Park Six-Pack: 6 parks, 14 rides, 1 day -- 11/06/11
Mesaboy's DLR Trip Report -- The Quest To See Dumbo Fly

FastPass+ Basic Information, Attraction List, and Suggested Priorities
MyMagic & FastPass+ Official Information & FAQ (courtesy andyman8)
Magic Bands 101 (courtesy MouseMomx2)
mesaboy2 is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 12-08-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
EMom
Comes from a long line of all fork hole pokers
I had the auburn haired Chrissy doll whose hair grew. She lost most of it in an incense fire. Don't ask
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,722

Spot on assessment. Sad, but true. And it's turned us from WDWers into potential DLRers, all to avoid FP+. Our canceled November WDW trip will morph into either a trip to DLR or Universal Orlando.
EMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 04:32 PM   #4
clsteve
It takes a very long time to become young
 
clsteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Where, if the world ended tomorrow, we wouldn't know for three days
Posts: 1,016

To gather this much detail while on vacation -
__________________
"Objectivity requires taking Subjectivity into account" “Whoever said Ignorance is Bliss must have died a horrible death with a really surprised look on his face.”
clsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
Peanut Giggleface
Embarrassing my children... just another service I provide.
 
Peanut Giggleface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,304

Excellent, well-thought out analysis. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts into such a concise and eloquent summary.
Peanut Giggleface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
bcrook
DIS Veteran

 
bcrook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 4,013

Some of us have been waiting weeks for your analysis. You did not disappoint.

Thank you.
__________________
-Barry
  • FP+ original discussions "What we know, what we want to know" can be found at this site.
  • Best WDW insider fact or story thread.
  • WDW Estimated Ride Capacities
bcrook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
agavegirl1
DIS Veteran
 
agavegirl1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,324

Thank you for your assessment and your observations. First hand accounts are so helpful.
__________________
agavegirl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
ArwenMarie
DIS Veteran
 
ArwenMarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,053

Interesting read! Thanks.
The part about the soda cups and FP plus is dead on.
ArwenMarie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #9
BridgetBordeaux
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta GA
Posts: 1,994

An outstanding, detailed report. Thanks for taking the time to compose it.
__________________
Fort Wilderness 1972, 1978
Honeymoon 1993 offsite
Shades of Green Sept 2000, April 2006, June 2008, Sept 2008, June 2009
POP Dec 2009, June/Sept 2010, June/Sept 2011, May/Sept 2012, May/Sept 2013, May/Sept 2014
BridgetBordeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
Robo
Attention: There's a '71 Castle in the Hub with its lights on!
 
Robo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the Magic Mirror, I'm closer than I appear.
Posts: 77,530

Very nice!

I've been trying to put together a post about the benefits of FP+.

Of those who like it, there are really only two reasons that seem to be cited:

One is that they can book one ride on TSM** without getting up early,
AND, the other benefit, is not having to walk to the attraction to pick up a FP.

If there are more reasons to love it, they are on a list far below those two.


(** Or the E-ticket attraction of choice in the other 3 parks.)
__________________
.


.

Last edited by Robo; 12-08-2013 at 06:05 PM.
Robo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
momof2n2
I homeschool. What's your superpower? ♥
 
momof2n2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Western NY
Posts: 2,741

My sincere thanks for an excellent synopsis.
I love the dollars-and-cents logic.
It takes a big mouse to admit they made a mistake.
__________________
Stacy and fam - Me42DH44 DS14 DS12 DD10 DD8 DD4 DD1
MANY trips to FL!
MANY days at WDW parks.
All stays offsite.
DCL - 3n WONDER 2001
DCL - 4n MAGIC 2014
DLR in '77 & '98
Weighing DLR vs. DCL for 5/2015
momof2n2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
wisblue
DIS Veteran
 
wisblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,986

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Very nice!

I've been trying to put together a post about the benefits of FP+.

Of those who like it, there are really only two reasons that seem to be cited:

One is that they can book one ride on TSM** without getting up early,
AND, the other benefit, is not having to walk to the attraction to pick up a FP.

If there are more reasons to love it, they are on a list far below those two.


(** Or the E-ticket attraction of choice in the other 3 parks.)
Seriously, you spend this much time on these boards and these are the only reasons you've seen?

I have seen several posts with other reasons, and have made several myself, but you apparently have blocked them out.

Last edited by wisblue; 12-08-2013 at 06:34 PM.
wisblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
BridgetBordeaux
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta GA
Posts: 1,994

The other plus that I can think of has to do with the ability to get 3 FP+ items booked on the afternoon on the day of arrival. In the past, if you wanted to get a FP for an E ticket ride at 2pm some of them were already "sold out". Now we can get a 3pm,4pm, and 5pm time for three attractions that make that first half day much more enjoyable. We are AP holders so we utilize this during each visit since we got a MB during a previous test.
__________________
Fort Wilderness 1972, 1978
Honeymoon 1993 offsite
Shades of Green Sept 2000, April 2006, June 2008, Sept 2008, June 2009
POP Dec 2009, June/Sept 2010, June/Sept 2011, May/Sept 2012, May/Sept 2013, May/Sept 2014
BridgetBordeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 06:30 PM   #14
momof2n2
I homeschool. What's your superpower? ♥
 
momof2n2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Western NY
Posts: 2,741

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisblue View Post

Seriously, you spend this much time on these boards and these are the only reasons you've seen?

I have seen several posts with other reasons, and have made several myself, but you apparently have blocked them out.
When I read what Robo wrote I see him saying:
#1
#2
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.





































#3
Etc.



There are other, FAR less cited reasons.
But although I know I've read them, I can't remember them. Those first two are way more prevalent.
__________________
Stacy and fam - Me42DH44 DS14 DS12 DD10 DD8 DD4 DD1
MANY trips to FL!
MANY days at WDW parks.
All stays offsite.
DCL - 3n WONDER 2001
DCL - 4n MAGIC 2014
DLR in '77 & '98
Weighing DLR vs. DCL for 5/2015
momof2n2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 06:32 PM   #15
mesaboy2
Using a certain word brings out a special kind of cray-cray

 
mesaboy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 24,797

Quote:
Originally Posted by BridgetBordeaux View Post
The other plus that I can think of has to do with the ability to get 3 FP+ items booked on the afternoon on the day of arrival. In the past, if you wanted to get a FP for an E ticket ride at 2pm some of them were already "sold out". Now we can get a 3pm,4pm, and 5pm time for three attractions that make that first half day much more enjoyable. We are AP holders so we utilize this during each visit since we got a MB during a previous test.
Seems like a variation of the first advantage Robo mentioned, but yes.

I too do not see any other reasons mentioned so often as these.
__________________
WDW: 45 visits (4 MNSSHPs, 1 MVMCP, and 400+ M&Gs);
DLR: 1 visit DLH; Tokyo: 1 visit; DCL: 1 5-night Dream; Universal Orlando: 11 visits
The Six-Park Six-Pack: 6 parks, 14 rides, 1 day -- 11/06/11
Mesaboy's DLR Trip Report -- The Quest To See Dumbo Fly

FastPass+ Basic Information, Attraction List, and Suggested Priorities
MyMagic & FastPass+ Official Information & FAQ (courtesy andyman8)
Magic Bands 101 (courtesy MouseMomx2)
mesaboy2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: