The former Innoventions West location that was home to select character meet and greets closed last week at EPCOT. Disney has relocated many of the characters to various spots around the park. We stopped by to check out to see what’s new. Our first encounter… Read More »Mickey Mouse, other characters find new homes in EPCOT
mickey meet and greet
The big news earlier today was that Mickey and Minnie’s Main Street Meet and Greet would be opening with the benefit of Fastpass to avoid the long waits that the Toontown Fair location had become known for. I’m a bit on the fence about this. I don’t like Fastpass in general because I think it A) is unnecessary for most attractions, B) upsets the guests in the standby queue which is bad show, C) artificially inflates the guests in public spaces which means a lower overall capacity for the parks, D) totally negates the chance to enjoy an afternoon in the parks with an equal chance to enjoy the fastpass attractions… I can go on… but I’ll stop now. Positioning FASTPASS as convenience, which you’ll see Disney has done in their press release, is only true for those who are able to use it. Once Fastpass runs out or the return time passes beyond your availability, then it’s no longer a convenience and instead becomes a huge burden.
That said, I can see Fastpass working for character meet and greets if, and it’s an important if, they dedicate one room to that queue and then manage the standby queue to keep it under a reasonable length (say 20 minutes for the Big Cheese). Do I actually see Disney managing the queues that way? I doubt it, but I hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Yes, I know that people “hate” to wait for attractions and characters. Nothing sucks more than waiting 45 minutes for a 30 second experience with a character that can’t even talk to you. To me that is a staffing problem and a capacity problem. Fastpass does nothing to address either of those. But it does make the guests that use it happy and they say good things about it, so it does have that one thing going for it. I don’t see how that outweighs the rest, but oh well.
Disney’s full press release for the announcement is below the jump. Please jump in on the comments with your thoughts on the changes: