Expedition Everest

Walt Disney World’s Fastpass system continues to work its way out of our beloved theme parks, despite little information from Disney on how they plan to roll out the paperless Fastpass+ system for regular guests that aren’t staying on Disney property.

Animal Kingdom is piloting the parks transition over to Fastpass+ and the Magic Kingdom is rumored to follow swiftly towards the middle of January.
The current flurry of activity to switch everyone over to Fastpass+ clearly points to the demise of the cute old fastpass ticket distribution points by spring of 2014 at the latest.

The rather clunky and bumpy introduction of the trial phase of Disney’s MyMagic+ has caused setbacks, budget overspends and possibly a bout of cost cutting on the payroll at Disney, but one thing’s for sure, the full blown version is huge and it’s a coming!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has installed a bunch of Fastpass+ kiosks around the park in the following locations:

  • Dinosaur
  • Disney outfitters
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Primeval Whirl

In addition to the Fastpass+ Kiosks located inside the parks, many guests will choose to use the ‘Mini Fastpass+ Kiosk’ in their pockets, thanks to the very capable My Disney Experience App that is available for IOS and Android.

Guests can head over to any of the kiosks and use their regular ‘Magic Your Way Ticket’ which is now fitted with RFID to interact as a contactless device with the special MyMagic+ terminals inside the parks.  (No Magicbands for regular park guests ‘yet’)  
From here, you can reserve Fastpass+ allocations for your time at WDW.  Currently, Magic Your Way guests that are not staying on Disney property are limited to 3 Fastpass+ allocations per person per day at the following locations:

  • Dinosaur
  • Disney Pals Character Greet
  • Expedition Everest
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Primeval Whirl

In practical use, the Animal Kingdom works out ok with Fastpass+ as the big headline rides that often have huge line waits are limited to Expedition Everest and the Kilimanjaro Safaris, leaving you with one free Fastpass+ slots to fill with a ride of your choice.
The problem is, that unless you’ve created a Disney account to link your Magic Your Way tickets to, you are probably going to be left choosing from a rather limited allocation of Fastpass+ slots on the day of your visit.  Bear in mind always, that guests may book their Fastpass slots in advance of their stay if they are staying on Disney property, are annual pass holders or already have their Magic Your Way tickets in advance.
Those that buy tickets at the gate are going to face a huge learning curve, and a lot of disappointment potentially as they realise that the best slots for the best attractions went weeks or months ago!

No matter how Disney sells this to the public, we feel that the comparatively unintuitive new system will slow down most people’s days and leave them with less and less opportunity to take out a Fastpass unless they booked weeks or months ahead.

Expect Fastpass+ to reach the Magic Kingdom no later than mid January 2014 and to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot no later than Spring Break of the same year.