fastpass

Anna & Elsa from Disney Frozen Now Greeting in Magic Kingdom

Princess Fairytale Hall: Anna & Elsa

Arendelle’s Royal Family has made the move from Norway to Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. That’s not all that moved, so did the extremely long wait times. On Easter Sunday, the first day the sisters were appearing in the Magic Kingdom, the wait time was 2.5 hours immediately after opening and climbed up to 4 hours wait time mid-day. Times not dissimilar from their location in EPCOT.

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The good news is that there is now Fastpass+, which means lucky guests can reserve a short waiting time for Disney’s most popular princesses. Resort guests will have first crack at times 60 days in advanced with off-site guests and annual passholders window opening at 30 days.

I’d had heard rumors that Anna and Elsa were all booked up through June 30th, but I was just able to find two weekend days in April with reservations available. That may be because Disney has been holding some slots in reserve or because others have canceled their Fastpass+ times making them available for me. The lesson is to not give up if every day of your vacation is reserved right now, keep checking and a time may become available.

Read More »Anna & Elsa from Disney Frozen Now Greeting in Magic Kingdom

Would You Pay $12.95 for a Magic Band?

This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog. Offsite guests can now buy MagicBands for use in the parks. You’ll pay $12.95 for each band, which will store your fastpasses and your… Read More »Would You Pay $12.95 for a Magic Band?

Oft Requested Changes To Fastpass+ Coming

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.… Read More »Oft Requested Changes To Fastpass+ Coming

Coordinating Your Dining with Fastpass+ at Disney World

This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog.


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Back when Disney opened up dining reservations for guests 180-days in advance of travel, there was  a lot of grumbling about how this meant too much planning and took a lot of the spontaneity of your trip. And they were right. It’s difficult to predict what you’ll want to eat next week, much less six months in advance. Add to that variables like heat, crowd levels, sick kids, grumpy uncles, and the occasional cash flow problem and it can be downright stressful to plan your meals that far in advance.  But here we are years later and most of us have adapted to the system just fine. Of course, now there’s a new wrench thrown into your plans: Fastpass+.

With Fastpass+, you’ll plan your fastpasses up to 60 days prior to travel (30 for off site guests).  Since you’re already planning your meals months before that, you’ll need to plan your fastpasses around those meals. Fortunately, if you’re using My Disney Experience and you’ve either made your reservations with that system or adding your confirmation numbers to your profile, your dining reservations will pop up when you make your fastpass selections, alerting you to any overlap.  You’ll choose your three fastpasses and then be offered up to four groups to select from. The first one is supposed to be ideal and usually doesn’t conflict with your dining time, but the rest will often have an overlap for at least one ride. Don’t fret about that. Instead, make your selection and once you’ve processed it, go back in and change that time–you’ll usually be given several other options.

So how do you organize all this?  I know a lot of you don’t like all this planning and what I’m seeing is that for the average guest, it seems like a lot of extra work, but with a little extra thought, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a timeline to help:Read More »Coordinating Your Dining with Fastpass+ at Disney World

Online Fastpass+ Reservations To Roll Out To All Guests Very Soon

MyMagic+ Takes the Guest Experience to a New Level with MagicBands

Annual Passholders who pre-ordered online are now receiving their MagicBands in the mail. I just received mine and you can watch my Instagram unboxing video below. All APs can now go through the My Disney Experience website to connect their admissions media with the My Disney Experience App and make Fastpass+ reservations as far as 30 days ahead. You may have any 7 days booked in that rolling 30 day window.

The latest rumor, although there’s no official word from Disney, is that beginning March 31st, just like Annual Passholders, off-site guests will be able to book their Fastpass+ 30 days ahead of time. Guests will be able to enter their ticket information via the My Disney Experience website and have access to the same booking window as APs.

Disney resort guests can book 60-days out. Which is Disney’s big incentive to get you to stay on property (although I always thought that being enveloped in the Magic was enough incentive).

As a local and an annual passholder, I never really know which park I’m going to be at until a few day ahead. If off-site guests and APs share the same booking window, it means I will have to plan at least 30 days ahead to make sure I’m not letting the 10’s of thousands of off-site guests ahead of me in line to reserve their Fastpass times. So far, with only resort guests having an earlier booking window, there have been good options to making FP just a few days out, but with everyone in the pool, it might get more difficult to secure that E-ticket FP+. Making plans 30 days ahead is definitely a change to how I do things now, but I guess I’ll get used to it or I just won’t get many FP+ for popular attractions.

Off-site guests will be able to use their RFID enabled tickets or upgrade to a MagicBand for an, as yet, unannounced price. If you plan to do this on your day of arrival, you might want to allow some extra time in the morning to configure your wristbands. A better strategy might be to head in and enjoy the park in the morning, then get your bands when the park is experiencing mid-day crowds.

Keep in mind that the system is still technically in testing (although as was pointed out to me, when everyone is forced to use it to the exclusion of the old system, it’s not really testing, it’s experimentation). So everything is subject to change.

More details on the MagicBand and Fastpass+ below the jump:

Read More »Online Fastpass+ Reservations To Roll Out To All Guests Very Soon

Fastpass+ Equals Frustrated Guests?

I’ve gone on record saying I’m looking forward to the possibilities that next-gen technologies can bring to Disney parks. Among the first roll-outs of that technology has been Disney’s MyMagic+ system, the primary feature of which is Fastpass+. Fastpass+ lets you make reservations for three… Read More »Fastpass+ Equals Frustrated Guests?

MyMagic+ Commercial Gets Bad Photoshop Award

The commercial MyMagic+ I posted last week has been set to private, but Disney has released this new MyMagic+ commercial complete with singing Lumiere to promote the new service. Keep an eye out around the 0:09 second mark for some really bad photoshoppery of Main… Read More »MyMagic+ Commercial Gets Bad Photoshop Award

FastPass+ and MyMagic+ takeover Disney World – Part 3: The Marketing Push Begins

Update: Welcome to NY Times readers. Please find the latest news on MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ here. See all of our coverage here. Finally, I hope you’ll take a moment to discover my new book on the Magic of Disneyland.

Magic Bands, myMagic+, and Fastpass+

The My Disney Experience mobile app delivers pertinent parks information, Fastpass+ reservations, maps and simple navigation to guests on the fly – via their smart phone or other portable device.

 

In the last 24 hours we’ve looked at MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ from the guest perspective and tried to put a little historical and business sense behind it, now it’s time to turn our eye on how Disney is presenting these new products to the public.

Disney’s marketing has just released a series of video promoting MyMagic+, Fastpass+ and the digital photo package Memory Maker. Look for more videos like these to form the core of Disney World’s 2014 marketing message.

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MyMagic+

Read More »FastPass+ and MyMagic+ takeover Disney World – Part 3: The Marketing Push Begins