After work and travel conspired to force me to take a few weeks off from my Disney theme park visits, I returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this weekend to see some of the latest changes. These include the remodeled Mickey’s of Hollywood, Keystone Clothiers, and the future location of Mickey’s Rodeo Roundup BBQ in Toy Story Land.

Stick around to the end for some artsy time-lapse shots around the park.

A few things didn’t make it in the video:

It was definitely a busy holiday weekend, but not unmanageable in terms of moving around or getting into shows.

The more I look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its one open attraction, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, the more I think about how Fastpass is what’s wrong with Disney’s parks right now. Without Fastpass, Smuggler’s Run queue was in the neighborhood 70 minutes all day, dropping to less than 50 minutes toward the end of the operating day. Unless you’re a single rider, every wait is the same amount of time as the person in front of you in queue. As long as all four theaters are up and running, the capacity is high enough to keep the line moving. The queue itself is fascinating and helps build the story, if you walk-through the queue that will eventually be for Fastpasses you miss all of that. At the end of your wait you get to explore the interior of the Millennium Falcon and then a full 3-5 minute ride experience in the ship’s cockpit. Sure, the game play of the ride could stand some improvement, but that’s fixable.

If this is your one trip to Disney for the next few years, this is a good value for the cost of that 1.25 hours of your admission price. If you spend a full day in the park, that’s about $7 to $11, up to 60% less if you get a discounted multi-day ticket. Because of the tier system, if you want to ride more than one of the other E-ticket attractions in the park, you’ll have to wait longer in a slowly moving queue while Fastpass riders frustratingly sail past you in line.

I enjoy using Fastpass as a local because the value proposition is huge for me and I don’t need to go on 8-10 attractions every visit to feel like I got my money’s worth. But overall, I still think its a poor value for those who value the experience of visiting a theme park as much as their time.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree completely on the fast pass evaluation. As a kid going in the 70s and 80s I never recall wait times reaching what they currently do for attractions that have fast pass queues. It would be interesting if Disney would do a test a have one day per week without fast passes in each park and see what the results were. It might actually improve the overall guest experience.

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