Fass Pass Plus Observations from this weekend

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

  1. MaryKatesMom

    MaryKatesMom DIS Veteran

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    When FP+ was first rolled out I predicted SB lines would have to increase and (like when Park Hopper became an extra cost instead of included) there will be some sort of "premium" option.

    I'll let you know how Easter goes.

    I predict the following:
    1. SB lines for Soarin' start with a 60 wait at opening
    2. we will end up Criss Crossing the park to use our other 2 FP's
    3. We will end up only doing 3 attractions
    4. Everything is so tighly scheduled I am unable to enjoy much of the entertainment in WS because I am running across the park to ride Spaceship Earth during my FP time. A ride a previously KNEW I could ride toward the end of the day with no wait regardless of crowd level.
    5. My family will abandon me after the first time I watched Impressions de France. I usually watch it 3 times in a row I love it so much. Really, I loop through the gift shop and watch it again.

    We don't just go to WDW just for the rides either but I think we've hit the other extreme. I don't mind at all wandering around for much of my trip not hitting headliners but I won't stomach doing that ALL of my trip.

    My touch stone will be how full Impressions de France is over Easter I've watched it dozens of times and even at its busiest I've never seen it filled to capacity. Maybe I can watch it over and over but my family will not.
    We have PAP's and go several times a year but if I don't get to do more than 3 attractions it becomes less appealing, I can go to New Orleans (which we also love) for the food and entertainment and better accomodations for less. Yes WDW is more than a Theme Park Vacation but they can't cut the Theme Park aspect down to so little.
     
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  3. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    Iger and his Lts have been raping and pillaging the Orlando customers for 10 years...no breaks... Continued cost increases across the board...

    I had started to layout a plan to renew our annuals last week...not a major undertaking... But still what amounts to $2,000 dollars (discounted)...

    And then sure enough...they went another 3%

    So I stopped that plan in its tracks... Honestly... That shouldn't be a big deal... But it's becoming aggravating to a point where I can't even explain it without going to a fourth dimension somehow

    The point I'd that the masses are not behaving like me...it's simply "how much is it? Ok...it's a visa/Amex/discover..." And so on...just bad consumerism. Just out of hand
     
  4. tjkraz

    tjkraz <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

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    The two primary complaints about FP+ seem to be:

    1) Three FPs per day simply isn't enough. As in "I would get 2-3x that many with the old system!"
    2) Standby lines are now much longer.

    Problem is, I don't see how these two phenomena can mutually co-exist. Attraction capacities aren't changing--every ride or show can still accommodate the same number of guests per cycle / hour / day.

    How can it be that guests are getting FEWER FPs (leaving more capacity for Standby riders), while Standby lines are simultaneously growing? It just doesn't compute.

    That said, it does make sense that Standby lines would grow at attractions which are newly offering FP+. Things like Haunted Mansion and POTC formerly had 100% of their capacity servicing Standby...now it's some mix of Standby and FP+. But again the consensus seems to be that using a FP+ for POTC or HM is a poor choice. So how many people are really choosing those options?

    It might be time to consider that spring break crowds are beginning to arrive (we have neighbors at WDW now), attendance is still strong and attraction wait times are under a microscope like never before.

    Those romantic old visions of March walk-ons at POTC, HM and others may be out-of-touch with 2013/2014 WDW regardless of the FastPass system in place.
     
  5. newdeal

    newdeal DIS Veteran

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    to me they need more fast pass kiosks, especially if offsite guests are going to be forced to book with kiosk only. When we were there during the test I said that they clearly did not have enough fast pass kiosks. Not sure how many they have now but basically every single fastpass machine in all parks should now be kiosks. During the test they had extremely few kiosks per park. If there was more than one per park I couldn't find them and in some parks I couldn't even find the one. I am sure there are more now. The notion that everyone can use their phone as a kiosk is a bust to me. First of all it may only end up working for on site guests but more importantly not everyone wants to be staring at their phone the whole trip. I would rather not bring my phone to the parks at all. As for fast pass vs. standby wait times the change likely has to do with people not utilizing the fast pass system properly in the past because park attendance is about the same, ride capacity is about the same, therefore it is just a redistribution of people which should be easy enough for them to sort out by modifying fast pass availability and number of kiosks. Clearly they know the ebb and flow of peoples riding habits, make more fast passes available during the times when there are fewer people and less once the park gets busy to help redistribute riders to morning and away from afternoon for example
     
  6. redrosesix

    redrosesix DIS Veteran

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    Sorry but this is wrong -- that may have been the case with FP- but it isn't the case with FP+ because the FP+ line has priority over SB on all rides. It isn't the fact that some people have pre-booked times on the rides that slows it all down, it's because as long as there are people in the FP+ line, the SB line cannot move.

    And the way it is implemented on some rides makes it even worse. I've stated this example before, but it's good here too, so here goes. We had a FP for PoTC and used it when the posted SB line was 30 minutes (week BEFORE Pres Wknd -- I was like WHAT?!!!! it should have been 5 minutes -- but anyways). We were the only ones in the line, so guess what? We got the boat to ourselves -- 2 people. Shortly after our boat launched I looked back and another 4 people had got to the end of the FP line. They also got a boat to themselves. Out of a potential 48 riders, only 6 people got to ride. 42 empty seats while meanwhile the SB line did not move.

    With FP-, the CMs used to draw riders from both lines. Not anymore...but consider them trying to change this now. People would be irate -- "are you kidding me? I had my time booked!!! You have to let me go first because I have FP+ for this ride." They can't change it and if they add more FPs per park, we could see situations where the SB line never moves.

    Using a FP for PoTC or HM is a great choice if the SB line is 30 minutes (or actually indefinite, because you have no way of knowing how many people have FPs for that hour). We love those rides and they are on our must-do list. Time saved is time saved.
     
  7. MonorailCentral

    MonorailCentral Dreamer

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    Incorrect. The window is an hour long, just as it has been before.

    It isn't something I love, but it isn't horrible either. If you go there expecting it to be a miserable experience, it WILL be miserable. We were able to make changes to plans as we went along, and you can change times for a FP+ reservation as long as you haven't used it. Running late for that 4-5 pm Peter Pan time? You can change it to later.

    It definitely clashes with ADRs, and has many flaws, but it isn't all doom and gloom either.
     
  8. tjkraz

    tjkraz <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

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    Sounds like a very fixable operational issue to me...

    As for what wait times "should" be, that's where guest memories and reality often conflict. I've seen 25 minute wait times for POTC in late-January...with no MLK holiday, marathon or other event to drive up crowds. And no FP+ either. It happens.
     
  9. humpback

    humpback Earning My Ears

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    This doesn't make any sense- why wouldn't they allow people with a FP+ to board first, then fill it in with people from the SB line? Are they doing this with other rides as well?
     
  10. alicemouse

    alicemouse Earning My Ears

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    Specifically for PotC, the FP+ line feeds into the boat entrance on the right hand side (as you're seated in the boat) and the SB line feeds into the boat entrance on the left hand side. Each loading cycle has one boat for each line. This means three things.

    A) the stand-by line cannot transfer to the FP+ line because the guests would have to go back out of the queue and go across the bridge to the other loading dock,

    B) it is impossible for the standby line to stop moving at PotC because it has a dedicated boat, and

    C) if there is not a large enough flow of people returning for FP+, some boats in the FP line may have to launch despite being nearly empty because releasing the boats in the loading dock is the only way to get an empty boat to load more people in the stand-by line.

    The difference is that in the past, you could choose which side of the queue you walked through, which meant that there would be stand-by guests in both queues and most boats would be nearly full at launch. I haven't paid enough attention to the crowd flow at HM to notice how things are being handled there. Once you're in the stretching room, it doesn't matter anymore if you have FP+ or not. You still wait with everyone else for a doom buggy.
     
  11. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    I have tried to remain optimistic about FP+ but I think the one area where Disney did make a mistack is very well outlined above .... adding FP to rides whose queues were not designed to handle FP. I think POTC and HM are the two prime examples, but I am sure there are others.

    I know they needed to add FP+ to more rides so there were more things to pick from when "everyone has to pick 3 attractions" but this was not well executed and feel like they should have left the rides that really can't handle FP+ well without it.
     
  12. shafke

    shafke Morituri Nolumus Mori

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    There is a very simple fix for this. Swap the FP and SB lines for POTC. If FP loads from the back they can stop the almost empty boat to pick up additional SB riders.
     
  13. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    That is currently impractical...

    The signage is up...not gonna switch that...
    And your plan involved moving the boats and loading it twice...which won't be done for a variety of reasons...

    The problem - I fear - is what we saw when they added the fastpass to Peter Pan.

    There was no reason that the line should have shot up to an hour...but it did and has never corrected itself. Rides built in the 1970s just aren't well equipped for this stuff in every case. Honestly...they've been lucky that their queues were as adaptable as they have been.

    Maybe a retrofit is planned down the line...certainly a couple of months of queue construction can be squeezed in on a rotating basis...but then your still have a very old inventory of things to offer... At the end of the day
     
  14. Josh Hendy

    Josh Hendy Mouseketeer

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    The two phenomena could co-exist if the rollout of FP+ coincided with cost-cutting such as reducing staff and reducing ride capacity. They can put fewer vehicles onto rides, have fewer simultaneous loadings/unloadings taking place, etc.

    I doubt if FP+ was intended to somehow keep people off rides so that they could be run more cheaply with fewer operators, but possibly with the lousy economy and the rising cost of salaries/benefits and other operating expenses (such as the cost of implementing next-gen technologies), the execs had to make simultaneous cuts elsewhere ...
     
  15. WeHaveADisneyProblem

    WeHaveADisneyProblem We plan the next trip on the way home from the cur

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    We are feeling a little anxious about the FP+ changes based on our experience. We rec'd our MB back in September 2013 while staying at the CR. It was a beautiful thing because during testing we could use FP+, FP-, MDE app. Double down on the fact we were going in September off season (yay homeschooling) so the FP in general was only somewhat relevant.

    The first impression was that the software was a bit flaky and would randomly require us to repeat logins. Particularly bad on the Ipad but droid was a bit better. The benefits seemed great then but it was early in testing so not as many people using it. The FP+ readers at the queue were somewhat temperamental but functional

    We went again the week before Thanksgiving (WeHaveADisneyProblem) again during a slow week. The app was a little better but still showed need for improvement. We were able to reserve weeks in advance even while staying off property. I think we were able to do this under the testing because we upgraded to AP in September. When reserving the system was behaving oddly. For example, for a family of 4 it would let 3 of us reserve the same time but 1 person was always 10-15 minutes later. Sometimes we would show 8, 12, 9, random number of guests for our times. Really weird. I thought there was no way they would work but lo and behold they did when we arrived.

    They had expanded testing at that time so there were a lot more people wearing the MB and also a lot more people on the FP+ system. Since it was "offseason" it wasn't a huge impact but my impression was that the FP+ was feeling more like a queue split. That is my prediction on where this is heading. Instead of 10 minute access for FP- or FP+ (during testing) where the SB queue may be 40 minutes that the aim is to level the wait times by pulling a percentage of SB queue into the FP queue.

    We are making our FP+ one day at a time now as we are 60 days from our next trip in May. I'm not sure if this is allowed because we are staying on property or the AP. This is still unclear to me. The MDE app is definitely more reliable but the tiering is will be problematic for most. I understand why they do it but if you are going during peak season I suspect that this is going to be very detrimental because you won't be able to pull TOT and RR on the same day I assume. We already find that Epcot doesn't allow FP+ for Soarin' and TT for same day even 60 days out. That will be a problem even for those of us who always go offseason where TT and Soarin' are still 60 minute queues. I'm curious to know what May brings.

    Just for giggles I tried to make a FP+ reservation for today at MK with the app and I was able to do it without issue. That is interesting that it will allow this since I am currently in Atlanta and don't check in until May 7. This could allow some bored individuals to clog the FP+ system with nonsense.
     
  16. ptcbass

    ptcbass DIS Veteran

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    I have a couple of questions -

    1) We have already made our FP+ picks for our May trip. It would only let us pick Sorin OR Test Track. For our family I picked Sorin. Is there a way when we get there to also get TT FP? Or can we ONLY get what they allowed us to pick ahead of time?

    2) Since it has been reported that some FP lines are long and since it gives an hour window is it better to go at the beginning, middle or end of that hour or does it matter?

    We are well familiar with the old FP and are trying to stay optimistic about the new FP+. :goodvibes
     
  17. tjkraz

    tjkraz <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

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    Anyone with a MagicBand and park tickets linked to their MDE account can use FastPass+. However all individuals are limited to holding no more than 7 days worth of FP+ reservations at a time.

    Additionally I just recently read that Passholders can only book 30 days in advance rather than the 60 days for others.
     
  18. WeHaveADisneyProblem

    WeHaveADisneyProblem We plan the next trip on the way home from the cur

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    Thanks for that info. I keep finding that the rules are vague at times.

    Interesting that it is still allowing us to make FP+ at 60 days. I bet our resort reservation overrides the AP rule of 30 days now that I think about it.
     
  19. Figmentforever24

    Figmentforever24 DIS Veteran

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    At this point you can only pick either TT or Sorian not both. There are rumors that they will make it where after you use all your FP for that day you can then pick three more of what is left over. That is not confirmed yet though.
     
  20. WeHaveADisneyProblem

    WeHaveADisneyProblem We plan the next trip on the way home from the cur

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    I'm fairly sure you will not be allowed to have both Soarin' and TT as a FP+ on the same day. We had the same limitation when we made ours. I just tried to change one of our "2nd tier" FP+ for Epcot in May from "living with the land" (no, we didn't really want to use a FP+ for this). It will let me change it but only to something on the same "tier" so I can't change it to TT for example. I think this is a permanent limitation and likely can't be changed even the day of.

    It doesn't really matter if you go in the beginning or end of the FP+ since the queue is likely to be the same. We always barely make ours as it is since we squeeze as much in between as possible. Unless something has changed you actually have 15 minutes past your window for a FP+ reservation so theoretically your window is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
     
  21. ptcbass

    ptcbass DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info. I am trying to stay positive but not being able to get FP's for both TT and Sorin really does stink! Those are the only 2 FP we really care about in Epcot. Oh well, it is what it is so I guess we will deal with it - and RUN to TT as soon as the doors open. haha :laughing:
     

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