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FP+ Official Announcement

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by Prose, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    I can see were you are going. Working FPs most effectively takes Disney knowledge. If "they" can schedule "us" in advance than Dis can hope to minimize the TSM and Soarin stampedes and staff CMs in the most cost efficient way. My concern is that bundling a headliner with pedestrian attractions will put even more emphasis on "us" to hit RD to ride the headliners standby first thing. Maybe that works as "us" will be done with the headliners' standby lines by 11am when the the masses arrive.

    If Disney doesn't handle this right they risk pissing off the very people who they target with PIN codes to fill the parks during slow times. Maybe Dis is assuming those people are loyal to a fault.
     
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  3. tjkraz

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

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    This is purely my own speculation but I think there will be two parts to FP+:

    1) Reserving days or months in advance. As in the tests, it will be limited to just a few attractions per park and only to those staying on-site.

    2) The other part is basically in-park FP as we've always known it, but probably a paperless system where folks can reserve a FP time via their smartphone or iPod touch (thanks to free in-park wifi.) If you want to ride Space Mountain, you pull it up on the handy My Disney Experience app. It tells you the next available return time (say 10:50a - 11:50a). If that's acceptable, you hit the button and your electronic FP is transmitted to the RFID wristband or KTTW card. Gone are the days of criss-crossing the park to check return times or get paper tickets.

    Some manual / paper alternative of #2 will probably also be offered, but it won't be nearly as convenient as the paperless system.

    I just don't see how Disney could ever eliminate the FP system people have grown to love over the last 15 years. Introducing a system were you ONLY get FP benefits if you are staying on-site AND you must schedule them months ahead of time--AND you only get a couple of FPs per day--would just be suicidal.

    Not sure that's a great comparison. If people can't get a dinner reservation for Le Cellier or a fireworks cruise, it doesn't really make-or-break a trip.

    Taking away FASTPASS benefits for millions of locals and off-site guests is a huge change which would negatively impact the quality of their vacations. Not to mention the people staying on site who just don't want to plan that far in advance.

    Picking one day to eat at a favorite restaurant isn't a terrible inconvenience. You can structure a trip around one or two meals.

    Trying to pick which park you wish to visit every day of your stay--months in advance--is a much greater inconvenience.

    In the interest of full disclosure, all that does is tell us the limited-scale FP+ product Disney has been testing. We have no idea which elements of that test scenario will make it into the finished product.
     
  4. bom_noite

    bom_noite <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest - April, 2006:

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    I think you bring up some extremely good points - well thought out! On the other hand, with regards to your "Suicidal" comment:

    • I believe (though I am not 100% certain) the only way you get a day long "fast pass" type of thing at Universal is by staying at there hotels. Please correct me if I am wrong!
    • As I stated in a previous post - Six Flags is 5 - 7 years on the Pay Extra for daily / yearly Fast Pass concept.
    • I believe WDW is way behind this concept. And, they are itching to catch up.
    • WDW is way behind the times on this concept and itching to catch up "Disney Style"

    What I firmly believe is the best perks will go to those that choose to stay within Disney Proper or choose to get AP's. I agree that there will be some FP option for those that do not - but - it will be watered down.

    Suicidal? - I am not sure I agree. I contemplated a Universal Package a few years back that came with Fast Pass for staying at one of their hotels - and - which to my knowledge was not available any other way (though I could be wrong!). Six Flags has been offering Fast Pass for the day Tickets for over 5 years - at a premium price. Obviously Universal and Six Flags did not see it as a suicidal option.

    I think WDW is way behind the times on this option. And, they may be asking the question: How much are you worth to me if you stay off-site, eat at Burger King, Chili's or Red Lobster and go to Sea World on Wednesday?

    We all know that the FREE Magical Express option was not a benevolent thing - it was to get folks on to property without a car that could be used to travel to Universal and eat off-site!

    While this may be good for WDW - I am not sure I agree with the practice. I meet and talk to ton's of folks that cannot afford WDW Hotel and Food prices and stay off-site. They are as a big a fan as I am - but - may be screwed in the process. And, if this is the way it go's - I feel very sorry for them!
     
  5. fax290

    fax290 Earning My Ears

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    I tested fastpass+ in September and some of the questions on the survey they sent after I got home could be clues to their intentions for the system.

    The ones I remember/stick out to me are:

    - Did you use a smartphone to keep track of your fastpasses?

    - Was 4 a good amount of fastpasses? How many would you want in a day?

    - Did you like being able to schedule your fastpasses early?

    - Were you able to use all 4 of the fastpasses?
    And my answer was no, we only used three. People don't spend an entire day in one park. Picking one of the four itinerary choices which each spread the use of the four fastpasses out from morning to night just isn't flexible enough.

    and most importantly:

    - Would you buy tickets through Disney in order to use this feature? Obviously pointing to FP+ being a feature of park tickets purchases through Disney (possibly as an add on like park hopper or water parks and more) or just comes as a feature that wouldn't be offered to tickets from discounted retailers.

    I will say I liked using the system for the benefit of not tracking back and forth across the park to get a paper ticket and then return later to ride. I would pay more for the FP+ feature just to be able to do that. I'm not crazy about planning my park touring out so far in advanced. Which reminds me they also asked:

    - How far in advanced would you prefer to schedule your FP+? With options of 180 days, 60 days, 30 days, etc. I picked 30 because by that time I pretty much have my plans scheduled and will know what day I'm spending at each park and can then schedule rides for that day.

    I'll be back December 10th and am hoping something for FP+ is running by then... somehow, although I doubt it :).
     
  6. Kronk N Tink

    Kronk N Tink Found Nemo

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    It should be interesting to see the clamor of ressies happening when they first announce.... as I imagine that the first little while it will be added to existing ressies instead of new ones. That many people all making reservations at the same time it will be interesting to see what fills first and how the system handles it.
     
  7. tjkraz

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

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    That is correct, and US + Six Flags are not the only ones with their own pay-for-play FP variant. However none of the others limit guests to just 4 front-of-the-line rides per day, nor do they force guests to commit to those attractions and return times MONTHS in advance.

    Agree. And there's a lot to like about an advance reservation system...but not at the expense of the FP system millions of guests have come to appreciate over the years.

    Bear in mind that my "suicidal" comment specifically addressed the possibility of removing ALL FP options other than the pre-arrival FP+. With that said, a couple points:

    1) Universal has far fewer hotels--2500 vs nearly 30,000 at WDW (not including Dolphin, Swan and DTD area resorts.) Offering FOTL privileges to some at USF doesn't dramatically alter the wait times of others waiting in the full queue.

    2) At WDW, we're talking about TAKING AWAY a cherished benefit--presumably from a large group of people (non Dis hotel guests, 3rd party ticket buyers, etc.)

    3) There are many people who already pay top dollar for Disney hotels who have no interest in planning their attraction visits weeks or months ahead of time. Again, Disney would be taking away from them.

    4) FP+ tests have allowed guests to get up to 4 PFs per day. Under the current ticketed system, I could get 10 FASTPASSES in a day if I wish. Right now, it's well within my rights to get FPs for all three mountains, Buzz, Peter Pan, Jungle Cruise and more. But the new system has me picking only 4--from specially constructed lists--leaving me in the standby queue much more often.

    And my 4 FP+ tickets are only useful assuming that my plans don't change, I get to the park on time, I don't end up touring in a conflicting manner, etc.

    IMO, Disney's ultimate endgame is to offer another exclusive hotel perk to goose occupancy and raise room rates (most likely, less discounting.) But if they limit FP+ to pre-reserved hotel guests, I cannot envision Disney adding enough revenue to offset the losses from folks who are completely put-off by what has been taken away. It would be a PR nightmare.

    All of that illustrates why I think the two systems will run in tandem. Hotel guests can pre-book before arrival while everyone will still be able to get FP return times after entering the park. There's really no reason NOT to do it this way. The FP+ advance reservation component is a significant value-added for hotel guests (who wish to use it.) Meanwhile the advance reservations leave fewer return slots for non hotel guests without completely relegating them to Standby.

    (As a footnote, I'll add that one of the theories I've heard is that Disney is adding all of these virtual queue elements to attractions because they want a way to entertain larger Standby crowds. That particular theory does lend some credence to the idea that FP+ will be available for advance ride reservations only. But I have a hard time accepting that Disney could arrogantly remove FP access from millions of guests and not suffer any blowback. I'm something of a Type A planner and would have no problem selecting a few FP+ reservation times prior to arrival. But the idea of standing in 45-60 minute lines...during slower seasons...does not appeal to me at all.)
     
  8. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I think the question about "will they take away the current FP usage system" can be answer in the name they chose itself - Fastpass+.

    I would guess that they will continue to have an existing FP system where someone comes into the park in the morning can continue to get FP throughout the day. What would happen is there will be less of them available, as a portion will be reserved for the FP+ users.

    The "+" in the Fastpass+ will be:
    1) The ability to access and possibly obtain FPs via your mobile device.
    2) The ability to reserve FPs for use later in the day.

    A PP mention not being able to use all their FP because they like to hop. I would expect at a point that you would be able to reserve your at-home FP across different parks. In other words, you could book Splash Mountain in the morning, and Illuminations in the evening. Though it's possible that this won't go into effect with the initial rollout.

    I do wonder how they are going to estimate the # of unused FP+ perks. I would guess there will be a pretty good percent (at least 25%) of FP+ that don't get used. A majority of people don't plan their trips out to the point that this would indicate. And even those of us that are planners run into issues on the fly.

    I myself would use these perks primarily for reserving the spots for parades and shows, since we go at slow times of year. If this frees me up having to sit for 90 minutes holding a spot for the parade, that's better than any FP line it would cut out. In addition, DD9 and DW don't like thrill rides, so the # of rides we really need FPs for are pretty limited.
     
  9. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    The thing is..the slower it is, the less benefit FP+ has..and the less effect it will have on standby customers. Same is true of the ADR system...it's much more "necessary" to make your ADR's early around, say, X-mas and Easter times than it is in, say, late October/early November (usually). While you will still see restaurants "sell out" via ADR...it usually happens at a slower pace. And, other than places like Ohana and CRT, you can find ADR's "off-peak" relatively close to your travel times during the "slower times" of the year.

    I suspect you'll see similarities in the Fastpass+ trends. During busy times..they'll make a HUGE difference in how much you see and how quickly. In slower times, they'll be nice for the obsessive types (like me), but will probably not have a whole HUGE effect on "you".

    AND, assuming they don't actually increase the number of FP's handed out (ie: If there were 5000 FP for TSM under the "old" system..there would still be 5000 FP for TSM under FP+...it would just be that some portion of them were allocated as FP+, and some portion would be allocated to "day of) for a specific headliner...it shouldn't have TOO much of an effect on the standby lines for those rides.

    It would have a much larger effect, you'd think. on the C and D ticket type rides. Meaning..people who might normally skip those rides, altogether, will ride them simply because they were part of the FP+ package. Again, you can see this with ADRs and the DDP. You saw a DRASTIC increase in TS usage with the advent of the DDP..because now people were entitled to a TS meal, so they used it when they might not have.

    And the "unique experiences" (aka special seating for Illuminations or FP+ only M&G's).
     
  10. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    1) I'm not suggesting FP, in it's current format, would completely disappear. It might..but I'd be surprised. I'd think there will more likely be some combination of the new FP+ features, along with the existing FP system...with maybe some changes in medium (paperless). So the existing version (+ or - some features and access to special event type things) would still be available to day guests of the resort. There might be FEWER "standard FP's" than there are now, but they'll exist. They likely won't have access to things like the specialized M&G's or the "special" Illuminations seating. But they'll have the "basic" version...as they do now. My comments were really directed toward the "new features" portion of FP+ (note the last sentence in the post you originally quoted).

    2) Disney has shown, with other things, they're not too worried about forcing people who don't WANT to plan...to have to plan. If they can increase their overall operational efficiency by enough..I suspect they'd be willing to do the same, here.

    3) And yet...there are plenty of people who do just that. Make all their ADR's at 180 days for their entire trip (or ten days of it, at least)..and then "tweak" as they get closer if they need to. And Disney has not changed that system, or their system for booking special events (Hoop De Doo seats, etc) in quite awhile. If you look at the way Disney has operationalized things in the past 20 years, up to and including the DDP, I think it's far more likely they adopt a similar "bent" than not.
     
  11. ctl

    ctl Mouseketeer

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    If WDW is announcing something like this Dec 6, then when would it start? 180 days out from Dec 6 is June 4, 2013. 90 days from Dec 6 is March 6, just before Spring Break. I suppose I'll get used to it, but I would think it would cut down on people buying Park Hoppers, if they have to stick around for FP+.
    I like a little more spontaneity.:scratchin
     
  12. tjkraz

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

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    Agree.

    On these points, I still view it as an imperfect analogy. Disney has...what...maybe 600-800 seats to fill each evening at Crystal Palace. And that's drawing from MK crowds which average 45,000 daily. So yeah, Disney doesn't really care which 800 people fill those chairs.

    But guests do have certain expectations for being able to ride Toy Story Mania, Soarin, Space Mountain and others. And I don't think it would be in Disney's best interest to arrogantly dismiss those expectations.

    Overall FP+ strikes me as a nice value-added but not something which is going to have a tremendous impact on hotel reservations. There may be some modest uptick in occupancy and/or rates they are able to charge, but it's not a game changer.

    If they try to force too much, they may be surprised at the result.
     
  13. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Sooner than June, 2013, IMHO.

    Later than Jan 1, 2013, IMHO.

    March-ish is probably a decent quess.

    ASSUMING that the program is announced Dec 6th, and not sooner than that.

    One point, though...Disney has handled shortened windows, before. For example, announcing the opening date of a restaurant inside the 180 day window...and they've handled it different ways. Sometimes, they allow a free for all (come one, come all, to make all ressies from opening to day 180-ish)...like with Be Our Guest.

    Sometimes they've said "Call the first 3 days for days opening til 90, and then after that for days 90 - 180-ish".

    So, no matter what....there's no promise that people won't end up with a shortened FP+ "window" if they're traveling to WDW nearer to the effective start date. And there's no telling how Disney will handle things for those folks.
     
  14. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    But there are more headliner attractions per park than there are TS restaurants. And there's more capacity/throughput in those headliners than there are tables at a TS.

    Looking at the testing history, you get two headliner FP's that you can book far in advance. Basically...you're eliminating your FP run at rope drop so you can move on to "something else" quicker...and getting one additional headliner FP.

    And we don' know how limited each headliner is, per day (or, really, how many "prebooks" vs "day of" FP's there will be).

    Your crowds at MK might be 45k per day..but how many of those are staying on site? There's about 30k rooms, on site, at WDW.
    http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/hotels/number-rooms
    I'm not sure exactly what average occupancy is...and those rooms include DVC villas...but I'd bet you're talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 100k guests in Disney hotel rooms per night.

    And 5 parks to disperse them through.

    Now, of those guests, they would have 8 choices (including MSEP and Wishes) of headliners at MK...of which they'd get to choose 2. Not everyone is going to choose the same 2...which means you'll get further dispersement.

    I suspect you'll see the overall EFFECT is going to be quite similar to the one the ADR system had on the restaurants (independent of the DDP).

    No analogy is going to be 1:1 in this case...but looking at the ADR system gives us some history of what they've done in the past. It's a similar "resources/capacity/efficiency" challenge. Ultimately, your goals for distribution and experience might be different..but similar mechanisms.

    I don't think they are. I think, instead, they're saying "Stay with us and you have a better chance of seeing those things, and not having to spend a larger portion of your day waiting in line to see them".

    It's not the headliners that day guests won't see...and, in fact, if it's a zero sum equation (standard FP + FP Plus = current number of FP available)..the only difference will be that more day guests will be waiting in the standby lines. Ride throughput won't change. the total number of FP's won't change...only who gets them (and, likely, not by an enormous number).

    Essentially, it would be the same as allowing all the hotel guests to enter the park 2 hours early, get 2 FP's for their day, and THEN letting in the day guests and only letting them get one at a time. The only difference is the "when" and "where" they're getting those 2 extra FP's.

    Agree. But neither was ME, or DDP, or the +10 ADR advantage. As a sum total, they're nice, though. They are a nice "offset" to the premium that Disney charges for their rooms (both in terms of rates and amenities offered). I'm not sure how much they'll change anyone's mind, though.

    I think, all things considered, very little catches them off guard.
     
  15. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    See, this is a philosphy many have, but I've never embraced. We always go at slow times of year, yet I lean heavily on FP as well. Sure, I'm not avoiding a two hour line, but even if I avoid a 20 minute line, then it's worth it. I see that all the time "Oh, the waits 20 minutes, I might as well ride now." Well, if I avoid five 20 minute lines - that's 100 minutes a day I get to spend doing something besides standing in line.

    Anyways, my point being - even during slow times of year, there should be a benefit to FP+, just maybe not as much of a benefit. As you point out, they also might not "run out" as quickly as during holidays.

    Actually, I'm sort of looking forward to this. Part of the fun I get from a Disney Trip is the planning, and the challenge to see everything we want while avoiding waiting in line. (Last trip we saw we waited in ride lines of greater than 10 minutes a total of 4 times during a 10-day trip. That doesn't include waiting for a parade or fireworks though.) However, how touring techniques had sort of gotten to a point where we had it all figured out, and did the same thing every time. The removal of late FPs and the advent of FP+ means I may have to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate my methods, which means a return to the challenge of planning.

    Edited: To another point, I am not sure that FP+ will not necessarily drive a HUGE # people to stay on-site, but I am sure they could see a 2-5 % increase, which to their way of seeing would be a large value. It increases the on-site benefits, so those that already have done it might be more likely to continue to pay the higher on-site prices. Remember also, there are people out there that don't want to be at the park at 9 AM. They show up at noon and are GUARANTEED a 2 hour wait for Toy Story Mania. Now suddenly I can show up at DHS at noon and still have a FP for TSM? Certainly there are some people that will see value in that.
     
  16. disneyisforlovers

    disneyisforlovers Earning My Ears

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    Ive heard from an employee that Disney is going to be rolling out a bracelet that someone in a party will wear for the trip. Before you leave home you will be able to book everything down to what time you want to ride a specific ride down to where and what you will be eating- that way when you walk into a restaurant on property you wont have to wait. In my opinion it kinda kills the experience. The bracelet will also be a room key.
    She thinks that they are going to be doing away with FP once all the kinks get worked out with this new system. Who knows though.
     
  17. Jays2013

    Jays2013 Mouseketeer

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    I'm a little concerned about the whole book-your-Fastpasses on your device thing. :sad2: Maybe it's hard to believe, but there are a lot of us out here who don't have smartphones, etc.

    If I can't use Fastpass+ because I don't have some gadget (that I probably wouldn't bring on vacation anyway), I'm going to be ... unhappy.

    Or am I missing something? :) I probably am. I hope I am.
     
  18. granmanh603

    granmanh603 DIS Veteran

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    I am with you, I or we don't have smart phones and have no intention of getting one so we are out too but also would not book them anyway if I did, just this past week did not use the one fast pass we got for SM and today it was a pain getting back to EE to use the fast pass and trying to figure out even if we wanted one... good thing was it was not crowded and we just walked on... just had to stay around that area waiting........ to use it...before we could go and eat lunch... guess alot of people are just not like us.:rolleyes1
     
  19. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    My suspicion is you won't HAVE to use a mobile device. It'll just make your life easier. Your FP+ bookings and ADRs will be on your wristband. The mobile device would just allow you to keep track of them without having a piece of paper with everything written down.

    The other potential advantage might be that you can book a FP during the day directly on your mobile device, versus having to walk to the FP machine. I do believe Disney knows that a good percentage of the general public isn't web enabled.

    The fact is, mobile devices already give a person an advantage in park touring. You can access wait times and FP return times anywhere in the park instead of having to go to directly to the ride. So, a mobile-ready person sitting in Tomorrowland and want to see what the wait time is for Pirates can do that on their device, whereas you would have to walk across the park. Perhaps this is "unfair".

    Long-term, there will be less and less people without web-ready devices, the availability of band-width will grow, and the prices will drop. Eventually you won't have mobiles phones that DON'T have it. (Look at the selection of non-SMART phones at your local store even today...your lucky if they carry three models.) But there will always be some fraction that still won't have phones, or won't want to use it, so they will always have to have a non-mobile option.
     
  20. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Oh, I agree. I'm not saying FP's are worthless during slower times. But they are "worth less", if that makes sense. You point out why, above. During busier times, it's saving you 2 hours. During less busy times, it's saving you 20 -45 min. Certainly worthwhile...but not quite as "valuable".

    Absolutely agree.
     
  21. granmanh603

    granmanh603 DIS Veteran

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    Well just from my point of view and I know I am in the minority but it is not at all about price... I just don't care about them.... I do not look at my phone at all most days... I just don't want to be contacted constantly and have nothing to say I do not want one for free .... I have my itouch for apps if I want. I am disturbed by the people in the parks or on the Disney buses , ignoring their children or worse pushing them away when they are trying to get their attention , while they are glued to their cell phones??? really sad... look around at people with their faces glued to a phone...:confused3
     

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