Oft Requested Changes To Fastpass+ Coming

The Disney Guest Experience Evolves

File this one under, “Gee, Disney really does listen to guest complaints (sometimes).” In an announcement made on the Disney Parks blog today, Disney Parks chief Tom Staggs announced two major changes coming to the MyMagic+ Fastpass+ system currently in use at Walt Disney World. It was also made official that all guests, resort and off-site, can now register their RFID activated admissions media on My Disney Experience and make advanced Fastpass+ reservations (along with a growing list of other MyMagic+ features). MagicBands are also available for sale to off-site guests Annual Passholders can already order a complimentary MagicBand via My Disney Experience.

According to Staggs, guests have been asking for the opportunity to add additional Fastpass+ to their visit once the initial allotment of three have been consumed. At that point one will be able to visit a kiosk and select another Fastpass+ time. No word if these have to be new attractions or if you’ll be able to repeat an attraction you used a Fastpass+ for earlier in the day.

With MyMagic testing these terminals are available for those who don't have mobile devices

This is a rather significant change that will affect the strategy for maximizing your time in the parks. Before when you were limited to three Fastpass+ per day, you would want to schedule them for when they were most beneficial (ie, could save you the longest amount of time queuing for an attraction, show or parade), but now, you might need to consider if using your allotment early in the day will allow you to skip more lines later in the day, thus saving you a longer amount of time in queue, even if it means some in-efficient use of Fastpass earlier in the day. For instance, no one will want to book a Fastpass+ for a night parade or fireworks viewing area if it means they’re limited to just two FP+ earlier in the day while everyone else gets to skip by them in line.

Arrive early, stay late, maximize FP is the new strategy for touring the parks. Of course, your specific strategy depends a lot on how busy the park is expected to be that day.

The other major enhancement Disney is working on will be to add park hopping to the Fastpass+ service. Disney will have to make sure it doesn’t get too complicated, but they’ll also want to develop a system that is fair. For instance, they may want to make it a rule that you can’t hold FP+ in two parks at the same time, thus denying that FP+ to a guest who is actually in the park while you may or may not show up later to use yours.

Staggs did not mention when these enhancements to Fastpass+ would come on line, but I’ve already read about some testing with park hopping. With even the NY Times taking note of MyMagic+ means to Disney, its time to start taking the service to the next level.

Will these changes to the system change how you feel about Fastpass+?

(via Disney Parks)

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9 Responses to Oft Requested Changes To Fastpass+ Coming

  1. Geoff says:

    The park hoping is the most interesting to me. We generally visit more than one park in a day. I hope this happens.

    When I was there in November, FastPass+ was still new and only for resort guests. At an off-time of the year it wasn’t a problem to reschedule slots through the phone app. I’m guessing that won’t be the case next time I’m there now that everyone has access.

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  4. Ed says:

    I’ve seen this posted on several sites but no one has asked or answered this question: For the additional FP+, will the mobile app be updated to allow the request for additional FP+ or is a person required to go to a kiosk to request additional?

  5. Mike Miley says:

    We just got back from spring break at WDW and had mixed results with the magic bands, so I’m looking forward to the changes. On the plus side, room access and purchasing via the bands worked very well and proved convenient.

    The pre-arriva and fast pass l information was lacking. Our stay was split between two different resorts. The first was just my wife and I and the second included our two kids. That generated two magic band shipments for a total of six bands delivered. When I asked to cancel one of the two, I was told I had to have them for the first hotel stay and would switch mid-week. Wasteful but fine. As it turned out, it mattered not at all. When we arrived, I asked again and was told I could use either of my bands all week. Any band connected to my account had access to any of the amenities attached to that account… Both resorts, purchasing, dining reservations, fast pass, photos, etc. It really was much simpler than the website described. We opted to recycle the two duplicate bands with the front desk and didn’t think of them again all week.

    The only real “issue” I had was what I consider minor.. People’s Fast past perceptions were way off from reality and we heard complaints all day about the long lines at the fast pass kiosks only to find out that little was left for them to choose from. I’ve been to WDW during peak times in past years and watched the mad dash as people ran for passes.. Now a thing of the past. What hasn’t changed is the limited number of fast passes. Ever run in the morning for a fast pass only to get one late in the afternoon because so many were taken? Ever arrive mid day at the park and get to a ride to find no more fast passes? That hadn’t changed at all. Yet we talked with guests who arrived at Epcot after noon, stood in line for fast passes, and then had few interesting options… And were expecting headliners.

    Add to that the limits of what you can request and it’s a tough experience. The new system doesn’t let you pick all headliners like the old system could. Want Sorin and Test Track? Too bad. Pick one only for fast pass. The net result was that we skipped many headliners.

    We set up our fast passes weeks in advance for the beginning of the trip and that process worked but proved clumsy to change… Especially from the app. Need changes? I’d suggest the website. We decided not to set fast passes for the end of the week until we were on property so we could more easily adjust to what we missed early… That was a mistake. On Thursday morning, we made fast pass reservations for Friday and there were NO options before 3:30pm. I can’t imagine how late the options were for the folks arriving Friday morning and starting the process. Our only goal was test track so we took a 4pm slot. We had park hopper tickets so we tried options at other parks… But you can’t do that (yet) which left us with lots of lines or pool time. We opted for the latter and hit Epcot early afternoon.

    An interesting email came in during our stay. We were offered the chance to test fast pass + dining reservations at the new Be Our Guest. We could pick a time and even pick our food days in advance. The idea being you arrive at the given time, take a table, and they bring your order very quickly. Interesting idea. Unfortunately, the system would only recognize my wife and I and there was no way to add the kids, so we had to pass or we would have faced teenage jelousy.

    The overall magic band experience left us feeling like dining reservations were a breeze and rides were the hard part. Lesson learned: book early, enjoy the room key and charging privileges.

    • Niekon says:

      Thanks for your side regarding the 2 different resorts and 2 different sets of bands. I’m booked into the same resort under 2 confirmation numbers (thanks DVC) and managed to get all sorts of fun packages in the mail for 2 totally different sets of bands. Now I know… one set should be just fine for the entire trip. ^_^

  6. Kim says:

    We just did Disney during the busiest spring break week and were able to ride every ride that we wanted. We just went early and rode rides and then had fastpass+ booked in the late afternoon or evening after our meal reservations. The park hopping option would be nice. We did not hop during our 8 day stay but having this option would help with this. We found that we actually were able to do more attractions this time than we did last year at a less busy time. I think this was because we had a timeline and were not running to get fast passes at the “big” attractions. Was nice to see some of the not so big attractions and have a slower more relaxing visit even though we rode more attractions total and saw more shows total than last year.

  7. Pingback: Oft requested Fastpass+ changes coming Monday | The Disney Blog

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