There’s a lot of changes coming to Walt Disney World lately, from park expansions to ride closures, hotel openings, the introduction to RFID tech and much more, so of course, the FastPass system was not to be left untouched!
Over the last 12 months there have been some exciting additions, most notable the introduction of FastPasses being distributed to meet characters over at City Hall in Magic Kingdom, which I think is a great idea and I’d hope to see it rolled out further a field, especially during the peak season. (I think it would be a great addition over at Camp Mickey Minnie in Animal Kingdom for example!).
Next comes the reinforcement of FastPass times, which has caused some controversy across the Disney Community. Personally (and we’re all entitled to our own opinions here), I’m happy about this. FastPasses are available to all park guests, not just hotel guests and nobody has to pay any additional $$$ to use them. So I think it’s only fair that we all use them properly. From my experience, the majority of guests do head back during their allotted time but I’ve recently come to find that there are many guests who collect a whole bunch of FastPasses during the day, then use them to get on the rides hours after they have ‘expired’. I understand there are exceptions, we can’t always predict meltdowns or perfectly time naps, sometimes something just happens, but many of the people who do this don’t seem to have those excuses. Anyway (rant over!), the new rule is thus; ‘You have from 5 minutes before your due time, till 15 minutes after your allotted time to use the FastPass in question.’
During March 2012 Walt Disney World Cast Members will be handing out FastPasses to guests for the parades and fireworks in Magic Kingdom (I’ve not heard anything about the other parks yet) Guests with these FastPasses will meet at the Hub and be taken to a roped off viewing area. I can see the benefit of this, especially those on tight schedules or with small children, after all not everyone wants to camp out their spot 1 – 2 hours before the show starts (though it can be all part of the fun sometimes!) Its definatly something I’d like to try out, depending on the viewing section and how many guests they allow into it. I’ve yet to hear / see footage of the viewing areas so watch this space!
Making its way around the rumour mill is talk of the ‘xPass’. The idea is that so many months or weeks in advance to your trip, you can actually start selecting your ride FastPasses. For example, if you’re going to be in Epcot and want to ride Test Track around lunch time, you would log onto the designated website and select the time slot you’d like (e.g. ) and your done. You’ve pre-booked a FastPass time, much like you would make an advance dining reservation. For those of us who really really like planning to within an inch of our sanity, this is something we’ll be shouting from the roof tops about.
Q. Does it take away a guests ability to be spontaneous? No, there will always be a stand by line, an in-park FastPass distribution machine; this is just the next step.
Q. Is it taking planning just a step too far? No, I think it’s great, especially if there are those in your group who only have a few favourite rides, or if you have young children.
It’s only a rumour but it is something I can see Disney implementing eventually! If the rumours are to be believed, we could see this coming to our Walt Disney World holidays as early as 2013.
How do you see the FastPass evolving in the future?
Until next time,