FastPass+ and MagicBands Takeover Walt Disney World – Part 2: Challenges and Solutions Ahead

One tap of the MagicBand and Guests access their Disney FastPass+ attractions which can be secured before they even leave home. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

One tap of the MagicBand and Guests access their Disney FastPass+ attractions which can be secured before they even leave home.

The switch from Legacy Fastpass (where select attractions were able to be reserved on a day-of basis as many times as you could according to the rules) to the Next-Gen technology driven Fastpass+ (where most major attractions and many minor ones now offer FP+ entry, but you’re limited to just three FP+ a day) is nearly as drastic a change as the transition from the famous A-B-C-D-E-Ticket ride coupons to a passport system where one ticket gets you in the park and on every attractions.

My memory is a little hazy, but I don’t recall guests getting so worked up about that switch. That’s because it was largely a switch in the method of accounting in the guest’s vacation ledger. With ride coupons park admission was merely a token charge, the real money was in the coupons. So grandma could take the kids and she would only have to pay a small amount for herself. Single admission changed that model forever. The new model meant Disney got more at the gate, but a savvy guest could work the system by staying from open to close (we called them marathon days) and ride many times more attractions than they could with a coupon book. Plus they wouldn’t be stuck with a bunch of unused A-tickets at the end of the day. So in the end, the ledger balanced for the guest.

A certain camp of Disney Imagineers believe this switch was the worst thing to happen to the parks. That the move away from ride coupons and to a single passport, meant that new attractions couldn’t be cost justified based on coupon purchases, that guest behavior was unleashed and less predictable, that minor attractions suffered in attendance, and that it made more difficult for a family to come and enjoy the park if they had to pay a large chunk up front just to get in. The counter arguments were: that most families on vacation had a set amount to spend and they’d spend it on passports or ride coupons just the same, that allowing guests to experience the park without worrying about buying another E-ticket for Space Mountain provided a better guest experience, and that the real money for Disney was in hotels, food, and souvenirs.

With Fastpass+ and MyMagic+ Disney is hoping to get the best of both worlds. If you think of the three FP+ as ride coupons you have to judiciously use, then: Imagineering can now point at those numbers as justification for new or updated attractions, Disney’s management gets to use FP+ to drive on-property resort stays (currently the only way to reserve your FP+ ahead of time) helping buttress some sinking room occupation numbers, and (if Disney works out all the bugs) guests will get to ride those “must-do” attractions in short order leaving them more time to shop, dine, or enjoy those hotels they just dropped a pretty penny for without upsetting the overall vacation experience too much.

Disney also gets a truck-load of data to analyze. We could spend hours going over that potential, but for now, check out this story at Giga-Om where a data analytics guru gushes of the possibilities.

By the end of this week, Disney plans to have terminated the Legacy Fastpass systems in the two remaining parks (DHS and EPCOT) placing all four themeparks firmly in the new Fastpass+ experience. Let’s check in and see how that is going.

A majority of resort guests are reporting a great experience with the Magic Bands. For the most part, they deliver what was advertised. You make your FP+ reservations ahead of time and can change them on the fly with a mobile device or at a kiosk. No more separate room keys, admission media, and paper Fastpass. It’s all in one customizable wrist band. However, there are obviously plenty of kinks to be worked out as there are still many reporting glitches with their bands. But even most of those guests like the general idea of the Magic Band, they just wish it worked.

The Fastpass+ experience for those who aren’t staying at a Disney Resort is a different ball of wax. First, there’s a planning challenge ( I have some strategy suggestions to help with that back in part 1). You have to do a lot of guessing and working out which members of your party want to go on which rides together. Then you have to determine if they’re worth spending one of three FP+ on. Then when you get to the park, you have to hope your choices are available, or you might need a backup plan. As a day guest, you just don’t know which attractions will have available return times that work your schedule or ride-abilities. Plus, if a ride goes down, now you have to return to a kiosk to change that FP+ to another attraction and the whole planning strategy starts again.

There are a tremendous amount of other variables to consider for an optimal plan. For instance, A standby wait for Rapunzel may peak at 75 minutes but may drop to 15 minutes after 10pm. However, if your 7 year old conks out at 8pm, now you’re forced to wait in peak standby or use a precious FP+ for a meet and greet perhaps missing some other reservation. How do you make that judgment when you’re limited to 3 FP+ instead of essentially unlimited legacy FP.

It’s these mental gymnastics that have many guests upset over the move to FP+. To be honest, it makes my head hurt a bit too.

I feel this will work itself out as guests become acquainted to FP+ and Disney figures out the optimal ratio for Resort Early Bird FP+ and day-of in-park FP+ reservations to standby guests. On the day I tried FP+ at the Magic Kingdom, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was experiencing a bout of unscheduled downtime and the FP+ kiosk software prevented us from securing at FP+. However, anyone that had an early bird FP+ already had theirs. When BTMRR finally opened for the day, the FP+ queue was overflowing with all those resort guests running over to use their reservations. The rest of us were forced to wait standby, which soared quickly to a 2-hour wait.

That’s insane, and there’s really nothing Disney can do about it as long as they’re allowing FP+ reservations 2 months ahead of time. The FP+ lines are going to flow and standby be damned. Think 2 hours is bad for BTMRR… through the magic of FP+ it can now happen to Rapunzel meet and greet, Aladdin’s Flying Carpet, and every new FP+ attraction across the resort. Disney could limit early bird FP+ reservations, but they’ve spent so much time and money promising that resort guests will get to reserve their must-do attractions they can’t really deny them a reservation. Nor would they want to, that’s the perk that will fill up the hotel rooms, remember.

Right now FP+ is an incredibly labor intensive process. Disney must have cast members staffing multiple FP+ points throughout the day, extra guest relations, and extra cast members at new FP+ enabled attractions. For the day guest FP+ is an incredibly guest unfriendly experience to have to wait in line just so you can wait in more lines (in theory shorter lines) later in the day. Even worse, a not-insignificant percentage of those guests will end up with a bad experience as return times for the attractions they consider “must-do” will either be unavailable, during a dining reservation, or potentially after the guest plans to leave for the day. With the current system, the guest doesn’t know that until they actually see the options on the FP+ kiosk after they’ve waited in line. If they really want to ride Space Mountain that time might have been better spent in the standby queue than waiting for a FP+ that they couldn’t get.

Other common guest dissatisfactions include:

  • The inability to park hop – many guests choose to do DAK in the morning and another park in the afternoon or have a dinner reservation at EPCOT, but have already visited future world once that trip and want to do DHS in the morning instead. FP+ only lets you have reservations at one park per day, so if you park hop, you’re doomed to standby lines for at least park of your day.
  • Tiered parks – two parks only let you book one ‘E-ticket’ experience forcing you to choose two less desirable attractions for the remainder of your FP+ (this is the tiered park concept),
  • Planning for large parties who want to experience a FP+ attraction together is nearly impossible for non-resort guests. Trying to get a party of 12 who wants to ride Pirates of the Caribbean together in the afternoon, but other attractions separately before and after? You have to get everyone together at a FP Kiosk and find a time with available slots that works with everyone’s schedule, hope that no one’s ticket has an error, and other unforeseen problems. Can’t figure that out, it’s an artificially long standby line for you.
  • Being limited to just three Fastpass+ a day. Under the old system, savvy users could often include 5 or 6 Fastpass rides in one day’s visit. There is an advantage to the new system, each FP+ only has to be separated by 1 hour instead of 2. So now you can get all your “must-do” attractions done in a shorter amount of time, leaving you more time to spend at the pool or park hopping (oh wait).

I’m sure I’m missing a few, but you get the general idea.

I’m not sure what make those upset with the switch to FP+ happy. FP+ is not going anywhere, so there will probably be a grim acceptance at first, then people will find ways to adapt to the new system and make it work for them. It won’t satisfy everyone, but I think Disney’s willing to say goodbye to a few non-resort guests, if it means they increase bookings overall.

In Disney’s defense, FP+ is still in testing and most of the above complaints are ‘software problems.’ If they run the numbers for park hopping and it works, there’s no reason the can’t enable that in the future (although I hear park hopping itself will take some significant programming changes). By the same token, over time Disney may find that some attractions don’t need to be on FP+, just like they didn’t need to be on Legacy FP, and order will be restored. Disney will also be able to use this data to provide a better guest experience, justify new attractions, and when the full next-gen potential is reached, come up with some really magical moments.

If you’ve used the new FP+ system after Legacy FP has been removed. We’d love to get your feedback or perhaps tips on how to maximize your theme park time and energy with the new system.

Ctd. in Part Three: Disney’s Marketing Campaign Begins

Previously: Part One of Fastpass+ and Magicband Takeover at WDW.

(Photo courtesy Disney. Kent Phillips, photographer)

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32 Responses to FastPass+ and MagicBands Takeover Walt Disney World – Part 2: Challenges and Solutions Ahead

  1. Pingback: FastPass+ and MagicBands Takeover Walt Disney World – Part I: My Magic Kingdom Experience | The Disney Blog

  2. The Mommy says:

    We usually visit WDW every other year (this is an “off” year for us), so I’m hopeful that some of the kinks will be worked out before our next vacation. One thing that has my planning, Type A husband all worked up is the fact that there’s a limit to fastpasses. For example, we would often ride Soarin’ and then immediately fastpass it again for later in the day. No can do with the new system – it’s once per day. So you think, fine, we’ll head to another park but…WAIT! We can’t easily do that unless we want to wait…and wait….and wait. Sigh. Keep the updates coming, please! You’ve given me (us) hope!

    • John Frost says:

      Actually, you can get two FP+ for the same attraction, you have to make one first, then change one of your other FP+ to the attraction you just experienced (assuming availability). Again, not sure this is valid at Tiered parks like EPCOT, but we’ll find out.

  3. Dan Heaton says:

    I was really upset at FP+ and still strongly dislike the system, but I’ve at least accepted it as a fact of life of touring Disney World. We’re not going again until next January, so we’ll be there during the slower periods at least. I expect that it will be easier to book FP+ and they’ll have the kinks worked out, even if we stay off-site. Part of me thinks that it might not even be worth the hassle to try and book FP+ unless it’s a busy time. Then it just becomes about hitting the big attractions during the slower times or accepting a wait. Neither is a great option, but it’s not like Disney’s going to change what they do. This current management team is focused on being efficient and doesn’t care nearly as much about the guest experience.

  4. Geoff says:

    We were at Disney in November, and overall, had a great experience with the bands. My wife’s band “forgot” it’s information toward the end of the week (she realized this when locked out of our room) but that was fixed with a quick trip to the guest services counter. The ability to switch fast passes on the fly with the app was fantastic. We changed our mind on a park one morning. I was able to change our dining reservation and fastpasses while on the bus heading to MK. That’s pretty awesome. And being able to give my 10 year old an allowance on her band to spend as she saw fit was a good way to start instilling financial planning in the kids. And once we got the kinks worked out with the in-laws that were travelling with us, making their reservations were a breeze. Disney does need to have a method other than email to link parties, trying to link a father in law with no email address was difficult to say the least. Thank goodness for well trained and patient tech staff.

    I don’t know what the answer is for non-Disney resort guests. It may be one of those occasions where Disney just doesn’t care as much about day trippers or those staying off site. I do hope that the benefits come to pass holders and to all vacation club members. But as for only getting three per day.. I think that’s a good thing. The downside is that you can no longer gift a random family with fastpasses to something you won’t use and you can’t split up a party (for example, sending my wife and littlest to Toy Story while I and my oldest went on ToT or RnRC). But I do like the equity of everyone gets three.

  5. Jessica B says:

    We got Magic Bands with a visit in Aug. 2012. We have been able to use the My Disney Experience app, and Magic Bands to make ride reservations for all trips since then, event though we were not always staying on property. We are staying on property in Feb, and got new Magic Bands sent to us, but had already made our FP+ and ADR’s. Wonder if both sets of bands will work?

    We have AP’s, wonder if that made a difference…

  6. Charlie Smith says:

    We started going as a family back in 1994. All the kids are grown now but we still visit every couple of years.

    I can honestly say that we don’t use FastPass at all. Since we’ve been to WDW close to 20 times now, we see no reason to waste the time and energy. We just stroll around each park and if we want to ride, we just get in line. It’s not a big deal for us to wait.

    I don’t think we used FastPass but maybe a handful of times.

    • John Frost says:

      I think it’s great that there are families like yours who visit that way. Frankly, we often go and only experience one or two attractions. Of course, we used Fastpass because it was a huge time saver over waiting in artificially inflated standby lines. I think you should try FP+ on your next trip. You can use it for parades, fireworks, and other experiences if you still prefer to wait in queue for attractions.

  7. Juan says:

    I am annual pass holder and really resent the way Disney basically has gone back to the ticket book. If you remember when Disney first opened they used a ticket book. E-tickets were the best rides and you got a limited amount. This controlled the lines which is what Disney is looking to do once again. Disney park wait times are getting excessive so now the have developed a system to spread the pain across the parks.

    Please note you can only get fast pass plus if you have magic bands. They also only allow you to use them in One Park. Once you use them up that is it which means have fun park hopping.

    I actually spoke to a Disney employee that got me fast passes through back channels since their system locked me out.

    I expect more from Disney since I tend to stay on property all the time and i have been there 10 times in a year.

    • John Frost says:

      Thanks for your comment. Disney has changed their policy and Fastpass+ is now available to day-guests at three parks today and all four parks by Friday.

  8. Marc B says:

    I’m not thrilled about the whole magicband/FP+ thing at all. I’ve yet to have an easy time using the magicband n my arm, always trying to contort my wrist just right in order to get that tiny patch onto my door or a fixed kiosk point when charging something. I also don’t like having to have it scanned at EVERYTHING I do like entering the resort. What they will be able to do now when they get their data together is see that you went to the Boardwalk and either lied about having breakfast there or tried to just skip on over to EPCOT. They can now stop you at International Gateway and ask you to please go move your car to the EPCOT parking lot even if you had breakfast at Kouzzina but weren’t a Boardwalk guest.

    Hopefully they’ll tweak the FP+ part though, 3 FP’s just aren’t enough and after spending money on a parkhopper ticket, I can see guests getting upset at not being able to ride anything in the second park they visit. I could see them giving resort guests 4-5 and less to non resort guests in the future so more benefit to staying on site. I obviously will miss the “unlimited” nature of the paper system but something else I used to do is give FPs away if we decided to leave the park early, I’ve made many people happy by sharing FPs and have had others do the same to me.

    It was my thought that FP was one way to get people to stop standing in lines all day where they can’t spend money and have them going to eat or shop in the park. Limiting 3 will put more people back in the standby lines with longer waits than we’ve had in years now if they all stay in the parks.

    • The Mommy says:

      That’s a very good point, I think. Parkhoppers are more $$ and why spend it if you can’t enjoy all the parks equally on each day if you so choose? Our typical style is one park/day for the first four and then AT LEAST two/day after that. Our whole strategy is going to have to change and this is causing quite a tizzy by the planner (not me – I’m the organizer of children and supplies).

      That’s another good point about handing off FP to remaining guests when we’re leaving without using them. We’ve also done that when a child wimped out at the last minute causing a loss of 2 FPs. Made a few couples very happy indeed.

  9. Pingback: FastPass+ and MyMagic+ takeover Disney World – Part 3: The Marketing Push Begins | The Disney Blog

  10. Disney Mike says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the people complaining about FastPass+ and MagicBands generally have not used them. The system actually works pretty well.

    While the limit of three FP+ per day is more restrictive, the ability to select the time of day you want your FP+ is a huge improvement over the “take what’s available” FP of the old system.

    So there are tradeoffs — you get to have more customization in the planning of your day, but you can’t plan as much of your day as you could before. We loved being able to change as FP+, too. If we decided not to ride something, or if we were going to miss a FP+ window, we’d just switch it to something else (or we could select a different time for the same attraction). You certainly couldn’t change an old FP to a different attraction.

    Of course, we don’t go to the parks when they’re crowded, so we never experience two-hour wait times for any standby line. Going to WDW twice a year, we also know how to strategize our days. The FP+ system will be easy for “experienced” users to operate, but I think it’ll be quite a bit more problematic for first-time visitors. That’s the only real downside I see.

    • John Frost says:

      Good points. There are always tradeoffs and I think you’re right about the learning curve being more problematic for first time visitors… problem is, those are Disney’s best chance at building repeat customers. So I don’t think this is a successful business strategy in that area. Other areas, it’s got some mojo.

      • Disney Mike says:

        Keep in mind that the old FastPass system also had a bit of a learning curve for newbies. I know many people who went to WDW for the first time and never even knew it existed, much less how to use it.

        With FP+, we got all sorts of instruction about its use when we were mailed our MagicBands. When we checked into our resort, the cast member at the check-in desk asked us if we had made advance FP+ reservations. I don’t recall ever checking in and having someone ask us if we knew how to use FastPass before.

        Another thing I remember from the introduction of FastPass some 15 years ago was the negative reaction to it at the time. The first time we were in the Magic Kingdom after the system was in place (maybe six months after its introduction), we saw people in standby queues yelling at people in the FastPass queue — angry at people who were “cheating” or “jumping the line.”

        At the time, I thought the system was a total failure, because I couldn’t imagine people wanting to use a system that would result in their being yelled at and called names. However, once everyone got used to the system, it worked well. I suspect the same will be true of FP+.

    • Marc B says:

      I know everyone “does Disney” differently but we rarely stay in one park all day unless it’s EPCOT for Food & Wine or something like that where we aren’t riding anything anyway. So being able to pre-choose 3 FPs in advance when one is at 10AM, one at 2PM, and the last at 5PM is useless to us. Not only am I restricted to 3, I won’t even use them all now unless I can luck up and switch one of the later times to an earlier one which I’ve only been able to do once so far.

      • Disney Mike says:

        Why would you select all your FastPasses to be at such diverse times, if you know you might only be in a part for a few hours. I grouped all my FP+ reservations into specific time periods, usually associated with my dining reservations. The evening we had dining reservations at the Garden Grill, we made FP+ reservations for Journey Into Imagination, Soarin’ and Living with the Land for 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Dinner was at 6:15. We spent the morning at Animal Kingdom that day, and only headed to Epcot mid-afternoon.

  11. A Schwab says:

    We spent last week in WDW. We were at DHS on Wednesday, January 15, before the switch and again on Tuesday, January 21, the first day of FP+. We did not like the new system. We were able to secure 4 legacy fast passes for The Rock Coaster as well as 1 for Toy Story and Star Tours on our first visit. Tower of Terror was full (resort guests had secured those passes.) On our visit on the 21st, Toy Story FP+ was not available, nor was Tower of Terror. We could secure Rock Coaster once and Star Tours and ‘The Little Mermaid.’ Our son finally reached 48″ so not being able to secure those additional Rock Coaster passes was very frustrating! Luckily the crowds were low so we were able to ride repeatedly, but if we were there in April or the summer, we would not have been able to have the same experience.

    We arrived at the parks each day at “rope drop” in anticipation of beginning our Fast pass adventure. The option to only secure 3 passes in a day is not ideal. It punishes those who arrive at the park early. Also, we talked to a resort guest who was not able to secure a FP+ for Toy Story until three days after she was initially visiting the parks.

    What happens if you have bad weather or need to switch your days at the parks? You can no longer do this if you have secured FP+ at a desired ride.

    We feel that FP+ obviously penalizes those staying off-site and we don’t think Disney will care about losing those guests. We have visited WDW 6 times in 5 years so we have spent a significant amount of money there, even without staying on-site but we will find it difficult to return under the new FP+ system.

    • Disney Mike says:

      If there’s bad weather or you need to switch parks, then switch your FP+. It’s literally that simple. We did it on at least half the days we were in the parks in December.

      And, if you’re arriving early, go ride the rides. Plan your FP+ for the afternoons, when lines are longest, and just use the shorter standby lines in the morning and evening.

  12. Marilyn says:

    It’s going to be very interesting to see where this goes. With Universal’s expansion of the Harry Potter area and other attractions there and peoples’ dissatisfaction with the new FP+ system, other parks may come out the winners. Reading the comments, it seems many AP holders are rethinking their AP renewals. I know we are. Ours comes up for renewal in March and we will be thinking long and hard if we want to renew (we have been AP holders since moving to Florida in 2003).

  13. Gordon McQueen says:

    My wife and I arrived at Hollywood Studios today at 9:20am and was informed that FP+ for Toy Story Mania and the Tower of Terror were not available and that they had probably all gone before Park opening. I understand the priority for resort guests to have some advantages but to leave no availability at all for none resort guests seems wrong and will end up counter productive in the long run. We are getting a bit old for standing in a Stand By line for over 60 minutes and I am seriously considering not renewing my Annual Pass next month as it all seems biased heavily towards resort guests jumping the lines for the premium rides now at Disney.

  14. Annette says:

    We just returned yesterday from a 4 day trip to wdw. We have gone there over 20 times in the past 15 years-almost always staying for a minimum of one week and buying park hopper passes. After experiencing the new DP+system! I don’t know why anyone would buy a park hopper ticket unless they didn’t intend to ride rides in the second park. We used to do 2-3 parks per day and loved the pace. We now are frustrated and feel controlled by Disney to the point that we may not come back this summer as we had previously planned. We also were thinking of becoming vacation club members but are hesitant given the fact that we can’t get on the rides we previously could.

  15. Robin says:

    I just went to the parks on JAN 26, 2014 and was really bummed out when I saw the legacy FP no longer existed. I used to like seeing what the FastPass distribution times were, right on my iPhone app, so I could kind of make my plans while I was on the way. Another example I miss, say I go up to Kilamanjaro Safari ride in Animal Kingdom, I see (without waiting in line at a Kiosk) that the FastPass distribution time is 40 min away, and the standby wait time is estimated at 30 min. I quickly get a FastPass for the safari, and go over to wait in line for Everest for 30 min, so it’s like I’m waiting in line once for both rides. Once you used your FastPass, you’d be eligble for a new one, so I go and do it again for Dinosaur, while I ride the spinning roller coaster over there. Then I head over to Magic Kingdom, and while I’m on the bus, I check my iPhone to see what the FasstPass distribution times are for Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain. Many of the Legacy Fastpass distribution times were only short times away, often equal to the standby wait time (exceptions being Soarin’, Toy Story, Test Track). Now, your 3 experiences are separated by hours. That type of planning on the go and park hopping is gone.
    I didn’t check to see if I could change my FastPass plus schedule to a different time or different ride after riding one thing because it seemed like too much of a pain in the butt, and when I wanted to try, there was a pretty big line at the FastPass Plus kiosk which kind of defeats the purpose of the FastPass. It saved me time on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, but then I went to Star Tours and the FastPass line was actually longer than the non existent stand by line. And we waited out the 45 minute standby time at the Tower of Terror between those rides, cause we didn’t want to wait until late in the afternoon to use the stupid Fastpass plus.
    One other thing I used to do that I can’t do now, is cheat. I used to get a Fastpass for one ride with one park ticket, and for another ride with a different park ticket, then later when they became eligible, I would get the Fastpass for the other ride with each ticket, and we would ride both rides at the earlier time. The checker person only checked the times on both tickets once out of many many times doing that. I’m sure Disney frowns on that, but it saved us a whole heap of time waiting throughout the years.
    All in all, I used to get a lot of benefit from the Legacy FastPass program, and in my first experience with the Fastpass plus, I got almost none.

  16. Chris Ebert says:

    We just used the new fastpass plus system at the parks. It has it’s ups and downs. It was nice to schedule the fastpasses in one place and not have to go to the ride only to return later and we were given 4 ride options for the rides we chose but they should offer altleast 4 fast passes a day. 3 is just not enough or after you use 2 and be able add another would be nice also. Good luck. To you.

  17. Alex Santamaria says:

    The new FP+ system is terrible. For a Disney-regular, like myself, it is very inconvenient. I am used to hitting 3 parks in a day and doing my favorite rides, all while just driving down to Orlando for the day from Jacksonville. Now we can’t even be spontaneous. We have to plan our trip well in advance just to score some FP+ tickets. We went to Epcot this morning (9am) to hit TestTrack, The Sea with Nemo, eat in Mexico, then DAK afterwards, but planned on leaving around 5 to make it home in time to catch half of the Superbowl. When we got to DAK at around 12, the FP+ tickets for the 3 rides we planned on riding were unavailable, except for Everest, which had availability at 7pm. This new system is absolutely GARBAGE. I am a 10-year annual pass holder (since I was 18 years old) and I am livid.

    Yesterday we had a party of 7 people and couldn’t get ANY FP+ reservations. They continued to say that each attraction was unavailable for our group.

    Virtually impossible to be efficient with the Parks now. You’re forced to wait in the tourist-infested 70+ min lines.

  18. Jason says:

    I am an annual pass holder who lives close to Disney World. Before the new fast pass system we would go to park, grab a fast pass at a popular ride, watch a few shows, go on a ride with little or no wait, eat lunch, then use the fast pass on the popular ride and go home. It was a real nice day and a great benefit being so close to the park and never really waiting in lines with 3 small children. Now is different. First thing to do is wait in a line at a fast pass kiosk line. We don’t need fast passes for 3 rides. we don’t want to stay that long at the park even. It has really affected the benefit of having an annual pass and being able to come and go as we please.

    • Disfann says:

      When you used to get the legacy passes, you had to wait around two hours before you could get another one; so you would be in the park about 6 hours. With fastpass+, you can schedule them within a 3 hour block, so not really sure what your complaint is. I scheduled my fast passes together, and even changed one because the stand by line wasn’t long, and was in the park for 4 hours.

  19. Tom Peterson says:

    It’s funny you should bring up the ticket books. I remember my grandmother (who took us to WDW) She had a cow when she found out she had to pay just to enter the park, she never went on any rides, and was convinced this was the nail in the coffin for WDW. I clearly remember her telling us “This is your last trip here, this park won’t last another year with this crazy rule.” I also remember her yelling at an employee, trying to get in for free.

  20. Leslie says:

    At DW this week. Didn’t like the FP+ going into the trip. Still don’t like them. We are a party of 12 ranging in age from 3 to 70.

    What I dislike the most is a limit of 3 AND at EPCOT and MK, I can’t choose what I really want. You have to pick one headliner ride for FP and then accept two lesser-attractive rides.

    We used to get at least 6 FP a day before. My DH or I would take all the KTTW cards and go get new FP as soon as the window opened. It wasn’t unusual for us to have our whole planned with virtually no wait even at MK.

    It also seems like there is no grand time to go anymore. We thought second week of Feb would be light on crowds. Not so much. Campground is packed and we expect the MK will be today as well.

    Not a fan of FP plus because only 3 per day and you can’t FP more than one popular ride like we used to do.

    For data purposes we go once every 3-4 years. This is our fifth trip with children and we have six ages 15 to 3 (she is 40 inches so can ride a lot).

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