Disney is currently trying out a “tiered” Fastpass+ system at Epcot. The idea behind it is simple, in that you’re limited as to how many major attractions you can choose a Fastpass for. It works like this:
Choose one Fastpass from the following:
- Character Spot
- Test Track
And then two Fastpasses from the rest:
- Captain EO
- Journey into Imagination
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE
- Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Spaceship Earth
- Turtle Talk with Crush
This is clearly a response to guests choosing all “e-ticket” rides for their three Fastpass selections and none being available for off-site guests. It’s rumored (key word) that it will be implemented resort-wide during Christmas week, at the very least. The good news is that if you already have Fastpasses chosen, you won’t be effected by this new change, at least during this initial period of testing.
If you have any information, please let us know in the comments. This new system is changing all the time, so real-time input is especially helpful.
Editor’s Note: I hope Chris doesn’t mind me chiming in with some additional details. Disney did test a system like they rolled out at EPCOT during Fastpass+ initial cast member testing. So, system managers have had some idea that yield management would be necessary since the beginning.
Chris is an amazing vacation planner and travel agent, and her perspective is from the occasional guest, especially one who likes to have things planned out a bit. Disney will even allow travel agents to go as far as making those initial FP+ reservations for their clients.
But my perspective is from someone who lives near the parks and visits on more of a whim. Admittedly, we’re fewer in number than those who are staying on property, but our money is just as good. According to Disney’s own numbers we even spend a little more, on average, over a year that the typical guest who stays on property for five nights. So it would not make fiscal sense for Disney to design a system that pushes away the day guest with a system that gives too many advantages to resort guests.
I think Disney realizes this and is working on adding things like yield management into the Fastpass+ equation that will make it a more equitable and enjoyable experience for all who use the system.
What do you think? Am I being too optimistic? What have your experiences been with the system so far?