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Fass Pass Plus Observations from this weekend

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by Magic Fanatic, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Magic Fanatic

    Magic Fanatic Mouseketeer

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    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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  3. rteetz

    rteetz DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

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    No amusement park would ever do this! Oh wait!!! Universal already does this. Same with Sea world!
     
  5. mvk

    mvk Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  6. BayouDiz66

    BayouDiz66 Earning My Ears

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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'
     
  7. SeanWM48

    SeanWM48 Earning My Ears

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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
     
  8. rteetz

    rteetz DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  9. Magic Fanatic

    Magic Fanatic Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  10. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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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
     
  11. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  12. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    Really?

    I know that...but fastpass was designed to stunt the blow to the "in demand" rides. It didnt mess with all the others...
    Now you have "mandatory" prebooked rides (because they make you take 3 automatically) that could throw the whole system out of whack. The lines - crowd control - take that into account. Don't be fooled.

    Honestly, I'm sure there are many nuances to this and I don't pretend to know them all.
    But 2 hour lines are an epic fail. That's not what they want...that's lost revenue
     
  13. OnSpaceshipEarth

    OnSpaceshipEarth DIS Veteran

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    @Magic Fanatic

    How were the crowds/lines at the non-MK parks?
     
  14. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    Actually ride capacity has dropped at Epcot. Sad but true.

    This is interesting. Thanks for the report.
     
  15. Magic Fanatic

    Magic Fanatic Mouseketeer

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    We spent Saturday in EPCOT. The lines were crazy at the Fast Pass kiosks, but again there were several cast members around to assist. The funny thing to me is that some of the less popular rides are included with Fast Pass Plus. For example, Michael Jackson's Capt Eo is now included. That is ridiculous. All day the wait time boards listed it at 10 minutes. Why even spend the money to install the Fast Pass equipment at an attraction no one visits? It goes to my point that a first time visitor, not knowing any better, could possibly waste a fast pass on a ride they could just walk onto. Sunday we were at Hollywood Studios. Many, many people. Lines at Fast Pass kiosks were bad with not enough cast member support.
     
  16. shafke

    shafke Morituri Nolumus Mori

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    There really wasn't much to install. Capt EO had FP when it used to be Honey I Shrunk the Audience. Most of the hardware was there they just needed to install the scanners.
     
  17. yeahhhhh7

    yeahhhhh7 Earning My Ears

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    As someone earlier said, two hour wait times are attributed to park capacity, not because of the Fastpass system. President's Day weekend mixed with Valentine's Day mixed with the runs led to a very busy week in the park. The week before, Fastpass lines were short throughout the day, and so were wait times for parks.
     
  18. belac

    belac I like fluffy!

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    Sorry this is long but this was a weird experience today at Epcot.
    I was searching the Boards tonight to explain what we have just experienced. Epcot was slow as in mid late September slow. We were shocked, but :cool1: for us. This wasn't a really planned out trip for us, so we expected the place to be packed Presidents week, kids off from school and all the snow lately from we are from, I expected crazy.
    The security check, the entrance, and GR all free flowing. Walk right up kind of thing we get in mid September :confused3 I did FP last night for today and got into Sorin, Mission Space, and Crush for DS.
    I asked several CMs and they had pretty much same reaction.
    We are going to MK and HS this weekend and guess what, I just got FP for the three rides at each we wanted, again :confused3 but yeah for us!
    I wondered what was up, but the standby lines for MS and Sorin were at 50 and 60 mins. Again :confused3
    No real crowds in park, with the exception of Elsa and Anna in Norway 3hour wait at one point, love them but not that much.
    Are the FP really turning folks away?
    I don't think you can stay off- property and get the FP+ option on your online account? So that is a lot of people that will be out, if this is true. Sad cause I don't think Walt really had that as part of his Vision.
    The tix prices are also a concern. When we left Epcot tonight we saw the tix booths and estimate that without a discount the 3 day pass with hopper would cost us almost 900.00 ( just tix no discount - no resort stay). That would make it a no for last min. trip anymore.
     
  19. plutoloversmom

    plutoloversmom Mouseketeer

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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:)
     
  20. practicallyperfect77

    practicallyperfect77 DIS Veteran

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    The complaints come from folks comparing FP- and FP+. If you were a RDer, stay all day, grab FPs as the system allowed you too and grabbed them in more than one park FP+ is a lesser experience. Folks aren't comparing to other theme parks or WDW before FP-. They are comparing how they tour now with FP+ with how they toured with FP-. If you are a person that goes during slow times and didn't use FP-, you probably have no complaints. There is actually a plus in FP+. Personally for my next trip when I take my sis and her family on their only trip to the world, I would happily pay for an express pass. Why? B/c like I said it is a one and done and I want my nieces and nephews to be able to experience all the rides maybe even some more than once without having to stand in a bunch of lines.
     
  21. Asuva03

    Asuva03 Earning My Ears

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    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. :dance3:

    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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