Magic Kingdom ends the original Fastpass system
If you are a regular watcher of theme park updates and news, you will be very aware that Magicbands are the future of your adventures at Walt Disney World.
With apps to book meals, your Fastpass+ for rides and a rubber wrist band to access your rooms, but merchandize and pay for meals, the Disney Parks are going high tech!
Now that the Magic Kingdom covered over the old cute little metal Fastpass dispensers (January 14th 2014), we must spare a thought for guests that turn up for their next vacation expecting to hit the attractions with a paper ticket! The confusion in the parks is going to be significant as die hard paper fastpass fans work out what has happened!
Although the MyMagic+ program that Fastpass+, Magicbands and other features are collective know as will become incredibly successful, the initial year or so will present a big challenge for Disney and it is one that they seem prepared for.
Old Fastpass V Fastpass+ (a comparison)
The old style fastpass system is a clear winner here in most circumstances. Stroll up with your ticket, maybe a two or three deep line wait, but slide your park ticket into the machine and it gives you it back and pops out a little fastpass. Easy!
The only exception being that can be if you stand in line behind one other guest, only to watch them pull out a couple of dozen park tickets for their huge group. This is not fun!
Fastpass+ makes it easier for you to manage Fastpass and dining reservations for your full family, but it is generally a more involved process using a touch screen terminal of your smart phone to make a reservation.
It is worth noting that guests that are using the My Disney Experience App, may connect up on the move whenever they are able to, so in theory booking a Fastpass+ can in theory take up less time than the old card system, especially if you make your selections while you are in the line wait areas of non Fastpass+ attractions!
The old Fastpass system provided the ultimate simple solution. Intuitive and a single service. You got a Fastpass and that was it. Guests arriving to use the new MyMagic+ touch screen panels, will probably want to ‘play’. The service prompts you and tempts you to explore other services beyond the humble Fastpass+ that you stepped up to obtain.
Another added factor is that your entire family will want to huddle around the screen whereas before, a sole ticket keeper trudged off to the old style Fastpass box.
Lots of people, extra processes and an IT world that many users might be nervous of, will definitely make the Fastpass+ transaction a little more involved.
Picking your tickets in advance will be a privilege to Resort guests and annual pass holders only we guess. We’ve heard no news at all about regular Magic Your Way Ticket holders being able to purchase their tickets in advance and book Fastpass+
Unavailable Fastpass slots
This is the good bit. Faspass+ will surprise people with increased capacity on most days.
Disney also have the ability to really use the power of MyMagic+ to keep the parks moving freely.
Each day, literally thousands of Fastpasses are distributed, closing the allocations earlier than necessary as gusts fail to show up. Some are elsewhere in the park, caught on other attractions or dining. Others may have left the park early.
Fastpass+ should in theory add a huge amount of capacity back into the system if the software is fine tuned properly.
For example, a family of 5 has a Fastpass+ allocation for Soarin’ at Epcot at 1:35pm, but the system can detect that the guests have just sat down for a meal at Tutto Italia at 1:15pm. That allocation will be clearly missed, so Disney releases a window. A simialr situation arises if guests book Faspaa+ slots in advance for rides in the Magic Kingdom, but the system sees them checking into Animal Kingdom instead.
Overall, Faspass+ will evolve nicely for park guests, but we can’t help think that a few less ‘App Savvy’ or ‘IT literate’ guests are going to need a lot of help from the Disney Cast Members that will nurture those MyMagic+ kiosks forever more!
The Fastpass+ wins big time on this one!
If you’ve booked your Fastpass+ but don’t think you can make that slot, you can change the time or select another attraction entirely.
Resort guests can use the My Disney Experience App or in park kiosks, day visiting guests may use the in park kiosks.