Deacon on Disney - Fastpasses

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cap396
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Post by cap396 » Apr Thu 10, 2008 9:15 am

The only thing I don’t enjoy about amusement parks is waiting in line. The Fast Pass system helps with that, and makes my visits much more enjoyable. I would vote to keep the system as it is now.

I went to a Six Flags amusement park about a year ago. They also have a fast pass system, but you must pay extra for it. I’m glad that is not the case with Disney.

On the topic of building rides with a large guest capacity: I think Disney does a great job with this. I had my first visit to California Adventure last weekend and was really impressed at how they keep the lines moving. For example, on California Screamin they have two loading stations so the line is almost constantly moving (when one side is empty, the other side is loading), and they fill in the empty seats with single riders. Tower of Terror had six loading stations! I noticed that Space Mountain loads handicap guests, who take longer to get into their seats, on a separate loading station so that the general line does not get slowed down. Even the Country Bear Jamboree, when it was open at Disneyland, had two simultaneous shows. The cast members also ask for the number in the your party at the front of the line, giving seating arrangements that are efficient. Most other amusement parks do not do this, and have lines that move so slowly. Disney definitely has the most well-organized parks compared to the other parks that I’ve been to.

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Post by lebeau » Apr Thu 10, 2008 9:36 am

I am truly amazed by the number of people posting who do not seem to understand how FP actually works. :mickey2:

FP makes lines longer.

While FP is holding your space in one line, you are likely waiting in line for something else. That is effectively two people waiting in line for every FP user who waits in another line.

Sure, your FP waits are short. But every stand-by lines is artificially inflated.

To be clear, if you took away FP all the lines would be shorter. All of them. Shorter for everyone. And they would move faster too.

By doing away with FP, you do away with the need for FP. :mickey3:

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Post by subsonic » Apr Thu 10, 2008 10:32 am

I'm torn about Fast Pass. There are some things I like and dislike about them. Actually, the only thing I like about them is when I get to use it and don't have to wait in the line. The rest are dislikes.

I noticed that on my last visit to WDW the FP would dictate my day. I was with a party of five. Myself and the other younger male would plan out the day before hand where to get the FP from. For example, when visiting Epcot we would run to Mission:SPACE and get the FP from there while the rest of the party got in line for Nemo. That's a hefty run. We noticed the next FP availability was about 1.5 hours later and so after Nemo we hit the Land and after the land we sent the family to wait at Imagination while we ran to Test Track to get the FP for there. It's a lot of running and dictates the day. What happened to the vacation part of it?

On top of that, it certainlly does make the lines longer, this is especially apparent with attractions like Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. POTC at Disneyland used to have fast pass and they took it out. I remember the wait times both ways and the stand by line is significantly faster without FP.

It's also a shame that amazingly themed queues now go by unnoticed as FPers fly through them. The saddest queue that comes to mind it Indiana Jones. I remember when they handed out the decoder cards and it would make standing in line enjoyable trying to decipher the codes on the walls. As a result of FP the queues are now becoming dumbed down.

Even though I know how to work the FP system to it's fullest I still get upset when I'm in the stand by line. Especially on Space Mountain (DLR) where it seems they hold up that line SOOO much to let the FPers in.

Disney is certainly losing it's magic. Overall, the cons outweigh the pros. I wouldn't miss FP if they got rid of it.
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Lumiere
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Post by Lumiere » Apr Thu 10, 2008 11:46 am

Exactly my point, Sub..... we love the idea when we think about using it but that masks all the negatives. While some attractions will always have a hefty wait at times, it would be less of a wait without the FP system.

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Post by sandicinderelli » Apr Thu 10, 2008 12:45 pm

Cheshire Cat wrote:This may seem a little nit-picky, but another reason I don't like fast passes is because of the fastpass machines themselves. They're ugly. Disney can theme them however they want, but everyone still knows what they are and they become an eyesore.
rdeacon and Cheshire:

Your points are very well founded.

Here goes some wishful thinking.

I don't know if anyone has put out this idea already, but maybe it would be a good idea to create an separate area where guests could get fastpasses. I think it would be easier to see what fastpass times are available before you hoof your way through the rest of the park. Having the fastpasses in my hand as I enter to park rather than "running" to see if I could get one may yield a much better experience.

Just a thought.
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Post by kronk's angel » Apr Thu 10, 2008 8:26 pm

For me, the joy of fastpass was quickly diminished by the looks of confused dismay on the faces of those in the natural lines.
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Post by realcal » Apr Fri 11, 2008 7:26 am

We just returned from WDW. I was behind a women in the soarin' FP Distribution line with 86 park passes (obviously a chaperone for a large school group). Talk about getting in the wrong grocery line. The castmember told me that that was not a record. He had personally seen individuals with over one hundred passes. He also stated that many visitors will purchase multiple park passes in order to have numerous simultaneous FP's. Their (visitors) claim is that they visit only once every-so-many years and the extra cost is worth the experience of not waiting in lines. He (CM) referred to how early in the day Soarin' FP's were gone as a result of this. Soon you will see FP scalpers outside the attractions.
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Post by WVParkfan » Apr Fri 11, 2008 7:45 am

realcal wrote: Soon you will see FP scalpers outside the attractions.
That would probably end the "magic" for me.

I've read and re-read the comments in this thread, and I fully understand the negative points about FP's and how all of the lines would be shorter without them.

But, I think Disney introduced them with the intention of trying to reduce wait times for guests. I applaud them for at least trying to do something.

I go back to my earlier post that there are just too many people in the parks on any given day. It is a matter of numbers. Only so many people can ride Space Mountain at a time, and with today's huge crowds, there is just no way around the lines. Disney made an attempt to find away around thos lines, but as many have pointed out, that may have made things worse.

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Post by lebeau » Apr Fri 11, 2008 8:18 am

WVParkfan wrote: But, I think Disney introduced them with the intention of trying to reduce wait times for guests. I applaud them for at least trying to do something.

I go back to my earlier post that there are just too many people in the parks on any given day. It is a matter of numbers. Only so many people can ride Space Mountain at a time, and with today's huge crowds, there is just no way around the lines. Disney made an attempt to find away around thos lines, but as many have pointed out, that may have made things worse.
At the risk of sounding cynical, I think you are giving Disney too much credit. The creation of FP had nothing to do with shortening lines. It was created as a way to make money.

At the time, Disney was investing heavily in their gift shops and restaurants. Sometimes to the exclusion of the attractions. The troubling thing was that these expensive gift shops weren't making as much money as projected.

Disney needed to find a way to get people into their high-cost gift shops. The idea was, if we hold their place in line, maybe they will go spend more money in the shops. On that level, FP was probably a failure. Most people just use it to hold their place in two lines at once.

Where FP has been a success for Disney is in marketing. They've been able to sell the idea of FP as a benefit to most people. Just reading the posts on this thread indicates how successful the marketing of FP has been.

In the future, with the technology Disney has developed, FP may yet succeed in its original goal. I think future versions of FP will get people to spend more money because you will need to in order to take advantage of FP.

As for the number of people in the parks, the attendance figures I've seen really don't indicate that numbers are a big problem. It's more a matter of Disney closing down things that used to eat crowds without replacing them, shortening park hours, etc.

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Post by meticulus9 » Apr Fri 11, 2008 10:06 am

lebeau wrote: To be clear, if you took away FP all the lines would be shorter. All of them. Shorter for everyone. And they would move faster too.

By doing away with FP, you do away with the need for FP. :mickey3:
you would have to do a study to see if truly would be shorter.

also early you mentioned that standy lines increase when a bunch of FP uses there slip outside the window. Simple math: Splash gives 5% of capacity/hr to FP. Lets says on 4% return in the 10-11 slot rather than 5%. more standby people ride then b/c less FP ride. Then btwn 11-12 6% show up (the other 1%), less standby rides. in other words, it depends.

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Post by lebeau » Apr Fri 11, 2008 10:48 am

meticulus9 wrote:
you would have to do a study to see if truly would be shorter.

also early you mentioned that standy lines increase when a bunch of FP uses there slip outside the window. Simple math: Splash gives 5% of capacity/hr to FP. Lets says on 4% return in the 10-11 slot rather than 5%. more standby people ride then b/c less FP ride. Then btwn 11-12 6% show up (the other 1%), less standby rides. in other words, it depends.
You don't have to do a study. For one, we have years of pre-FP history to draw on. But simple logic indicates that FP makes lines longer. For each FP user who gets in another line you effectively have two people in line. Without FP, you would not have this duplication. That results is shorter lines.

In practice, I realize it is more complicated than that as you indicate in your example. My only point about using tickets outside of the window is that it throws off the delicate balance of FP. Sure, you might get lucky and avoid a bottle neck. But without FP, there wouldn't have been any danger of that particular bottle neck being created.

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Post by Lumiere » Apr Fri 11, 2008 11:28 am

With the price of park admission as it is, can you even imagine buying two or three passes in order to get multiple FP's at the same time????????

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Post by realcal » Apr Fri 11, 2008 12:13 pm

7habitz wrote:With the price of park admission as it is, can you even imagine buying two or three passes in order to get multiple FP's at the same time????????
It is obviously an option for visitors with the financial means to do so. As the castmember at Soarin' stated, "at what price do you value your time?". If you can only visit once in ten years and you have the means, why not buy multiple passes. But it does affect the intention of the service.

BTW, the FP system was pitched to Disney by a group of Stanford students who had developed the idea through Apple Computer's Student Design Competition back in 1995. Originally the system was to use small electronic devices that would make the reservation by passing it by a FP terminal at the attraction. Disney's response was no thanks, not interested. The Stanford students were a bit shocked that a system that potentially could enhance visitor experience would be brushed off so quickly. The first FP was introduced in 1999. I have seen references on the Web that claim the system was modeled after Alton Towers in the UK.
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Post by rodders » Apr Tue 15, 2008 4:11 am

realcal wrote:
7habitz wrote:With the price of park admission as it is, can you even imagine buying two or three passes in order to get multiple FP's at the same time????????
It is obviously an option for visitors with the financial means to do so. As the castmember at Soarin' stated, "at what price do you value your time?". If you can only visit once in ten years and you have the means, why not buy multiple passes. But it does affect the intention of the service.

BTW, the FP system was pitched to Disney by a group of Stanford students who had developed the idea through Apple Computer's Student Design Competition back in 1995. Originally the system was to use small electronic devices that would make the reservation by passing it by a FP terminal at the attraction. Disney's response was no thanks, not interested. The Stanford students were a bit shocked that a system that potentially could enhance visitor experience would be brushed off so quickly. The first FP was introduced in 1999. I have seen references on the Web that claim the system was modeled after Alton Towers in the UK.
Alton Towers now allow you to purchase a book of fast pass type tickets. Whilst supporting market economy and understanding that some people can't make it frequently I struggle to accept this. I think it's a real shame that this has gone ahead as it does create a type of class system within the park.
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Post by subsonic » Apr Tue 15, 2008 10:14 am

Universal Florida has this as well, but call it the V.I.P. Program. Any guests staying at the hotels get these and it's ALL day. You just show your hotel key. It really does separate the classes. When I went it was nice to have though. :) The parks weren't that busy so it didn't matter "that" much.
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