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Travisma

Disney might be ready to finally admit that their current FastPass+ system sucks

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https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2019/06/17/disney-might-be-ready-to-finally-admit-that-their-current-fastpass-system-sucks?utm_source=feature&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=hpfeatures&utm_content=HomeTopFeature

 

My thoughts...This will be a major change (though not unexpected if they can squeeze more $$$ out of visitors) if they implement it.

 

Hollywood Studios will see a major shift in its FastPass+ tiers this fall, but even more significant changes might be on the horizon for the WDW reservation system. 

Currently, all guests at WDW theme parks have access to three FastPass+ attraction reservations ahead of their visit. On the day of, after those three are used or their time slot has passed, guests can then make more reservations, one at a time, throughout the day. The service is linked via  RFID-equipped tickets or MagicBands. The My Disney Experience mobile app allows guests to change their reservations and make extra ones once their three are used. Access to the online ride reservation system opens 60 days ahead of their visit for those staying onsite or at select resorts and 30 days for those staying offsite. 

Numerous pilot programs have offered extra FastPasses or other FastPass-like reservations, typically for live shows, as part of upcharge offerings. Disney has also rolled out upcharge FastPass programs at other Disney resorts. Most Disney resorts still use paper FastPasses, known within the fan community as ‘Legacy FastPass,’ that don’t offer ahead-of-visit reservations. These systems require a guest to be within the park itself before they can make their ride reservations. Both Disneyland Paris and Disneyland in Anaheim, the only two other resorts that the Disney company wholly owns, have also begun offering paid FastPass options within the last few years. 

The two resorts offer slightly different variations of the paid FastPass program. In Paris, guests can purchase various FastPass programs that each have a preset list of popular attractions on it. Most of these provide a one-time “Speedy Access” to select rides beginning at €30 per person for three attractions. An unlimited option for all available attractions begins at €120 per person per day. The upgrade options are only available on select days and are limited in number. The price, availability, and other features adjust according to expected crowd size at the park, somewhat similar to Universal Orlando’s Express Pass system. 
 

At Disneyland in California, a paid system was introduced in 2017. The mobile app-based program, known as MaxPass, allows guests to make FastPass reservations without having to visit the individual FastPass kiosks. It also includes unlimited Disney PhotoPass photo downloads from the day. For $15 per person per day, the service has proven extremely popular with many guests. MaxPass is included with select annual passes and is available as a yearly add-on purchase for $100 for those annual passes which don’t include it.

Disney World spent an estimated $1 billion to upgrade every single attraction, cash register, hotel room door, and turnstile into a single system linked via the RFID MagicBands and mobile app. Now, six years after its initial rollout, many of the early plans announced for the program have still yet to be fully realized. But that hasn’t stopped other cost-cutting initiatives thanks to the system, including the use of automatic photographer machinesinstead of human photographers at select character meet-and-greets. Despite, or thanks to, these limited successes, the program is widely viewed as a flop, and nearly every executive involved in the creation of it is no longer at the company. 

On the user side, many guests have complained that the Disney World system requires months of planning ahead of their visit and causes longer lines. On Disney World’s own website, it tells guests to “Make a Dash for FastPass+” in what seems to be an acknowledgment of how quickly popular attractions fill up with the current system, even two months out. It now looks like Disney leadership has decided to bite the bullet and fix the countless piecemeal updates while also attempting to better harness profits out of the boondoggle of a system that is already proving out of date. 

Rumors point to Disney World readying for one of the largest shifts in the FastPass+ program since its debut in 2013. The updated system would be like that of Disneyland Paris, with paid options that don’t require any pre-visit planning. There are already similar offerings available as part of the Enchanting Extras Collection, including the Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour, the Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour, and the Star Wars Guided Tour. These tours range in price from $92.95 to $349 and all include group tour guides. 

According to multiple insiders, including publicly by Martin on the WDWMagic forums, the free FastPass+ program used today will still be available after the paid version is introduced, though some rides may see their number of free FastPasses decreased to provide availability for the upcharge options. Disney seems to be hoping that guests will use a mix of both paid FastPasses, likely for more popular attractions, and the three free ones that come with regular admission, though these may have to be used on shows and other large-capacity attractions thanks to availability. Both single park and park hopper options for the paid versions will be eventually available at WDW, with individual park options expected to debut first. 

The two-tiered system that some WDW theme parks currently use would officially be scrapped, but the reservation app may ensure that multiple attractions in what is currently Tier One wouldn’t be available at the same time, essentially keeping the tiers in place unofficially. Many of the specifics of the updated program, including those around the current tier system and the possibility of also including snack or meal credits with certain offerings, still seem to be very much in flux. The cost of the new paid system is also unclear but, like the Paris version, it should use crowd calendar-based demand pricing. Discounts with select on-site accommodations may also be used, similar to how Disney World currently uses the credit-based Disney Dining Plan. 

The ultimate goal of the new upcharge system is to provide a single FastPass branded program across all fully owned Disney resorts, with the aim of lessening confusion between the three resorts, though that is still many years away. 

The rumored WDW paid FastPass program is expected to debut ahead of the 50th Anniversary celebration that begins in 2021.

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It isn’t so much the Fast Pass system that sucks as it’s evolution. All the “special privileged” advance 60 day and 180 bookings is what is killing the system and causing discontent. However it’s a sign of the times and an indicator of the planned culture shift on how we will visit Disney in the future. It’s all about the $$$ and the chosen few.  I’d like to see all the advanced FP and ADR’s go away and possibly go to a version of Volcano Bays Tapu Tapu where your presence is required. Disney knows something has got to change but they have gotten off track for in the long run greed never elicits happiness. 

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2 minutes ago, Breezy2 said:

It isn’t so much the Fast Pass system that sucks as it’s evolution. All the “special privileged” advance 60 day and 180 bookings is what is killing the system and causing discontent. However it’s a sign of the times and an indicator of the planned culture shift on how we will visit Disney in the future. It’s all about the $$$ and the chosen few.  I’d like to see all the advanced FP and ADR’s go away and possibly go to a version of Volcano Bays Tapu Tapu where your presence is required. Disney knows something has got to change but they have gotten off track for in the long run greed never elicits happiness. 

Guess Disney hasn't learned that lesson.

 

Check out my other 2 posts, Country Bear Rumor, and the AP price increase today.

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2 hours ago, Breezy2 said:

It isn’t so much the Fast Pass system that sucks as it’s evolution. All the “special privileged” advance 60 day and 180 bookings is what is killing the system and causing discontent. However it’s a sign of the times and an indicator of the planned culture shift on how we will visit Disney in the future. It’s all about the $$$ and the chosen few.  I’d like to see all the advanced FP and ADR’s go away and possibly go to a version of Volcano Bays Tapu Tapu where your presence is required. Disney knows something has got to change but they have gotten off track for in the long run greed never elicits happiness. 

This is like the Maxpass at Disneyland. You have to be in the park to make a fast pass, or just use the paper fast pass. 

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I see more and more articles mentioning the feedback that you now have to plan every aspect of your trip months in advance - and that people generally don't like it. 

Moving to a system like DL would certainly (and thankfully) take that out of the equation. 

 

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Just now, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

I see more and more articles mentioning the feedback that you now have to plan every aspect of your trip months in advance - and that people generally don't like it. 

Moving to a system like DL would certainly (and thankfully) take that out of the equation. 

 

But Disney is pandering to the ultra-planners, those people that stress out when they can't get that 5th character meal (little Suzie will be devastated) and they  have every waking and sleeping moment planned from the time they leave home for their trip to the time they get back.

Like that episode of The Middle where they had the giant binder dictating when and where they went.

If people plan months in advance, they are likely to book expensive extras and Disney wins again!

And don't forget, the current FP system seems to send you back and forth across the parks to get to each ride, improving the chances of you seeing something and stopping to purchase it.

 

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2 minutes ago, DaveInTN said:

When tennis season is over on Long Island and hot yoga has become boring, what else are the Super Mommies to do but plan their next Disney trip?

And the more Mimosas they pound down, the more expensive the trip gets!

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4 hours ago, Travisma said:

But Disney is pandering to the ultra-planners,

I done plenty of planning. I've even stayed up extra late to be able to get to FP+ the second my window opened and still couldn't get a pass to the rides we really wanted. At least with the Disney system I'd have a fighting chance.

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It was so nice to go to Disneyland without pre picking when we wanted to ride something. It was nice to know if the park was super crowded we had the option to buy maxpass. For us we felt we did not need it we did fine with the paper ones but, it was nice to have a option. It seems lass stressful there more easy going.

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