Disneyland Resort Now Enforcing FASTPASS Return Windows

by 7 Comments

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Until this past weekend, one of our top insider tips for Disneyland Resort visitors was that the return time windows printed on FASTPASS tickets were rarely if ever enforced. Even though FASTPASS tickets clearly display a one-hour window during which the ticket is valid for expedited admission into an attraction, the end of the time period could previously be safely ignored. This was a great boon to savvy guests, who could get FASTPASS tickets for popular rides in the early hours of the day and stockpile them for use at any time before park closing.

Walt Disney World used to have a similar unwritten policy, until it began enforcing FASTPASS return times last year in preparation for the new MyMagic+ program. Now, Disneyland Resort has joined its Florida counterpart in requiring guests adhere to the designated return times.

As of this morning, Cast Members at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions offering FASTPASS will refuse entry to guests arriving after their printed pass time has expired. Cast Members have been warning guests of the policy change for the past couple weeks, and signs reminding guests to observe their return times have been posted at all FASTPASS dispensing kiosks.

During this transition period, Cast Members may have the discretion to admit latecomers within a 15 minute grace period. Also, if an attraction breaks down during your return window (a not-uncommon occurrence at Radiator Springs Racers) your pass will be accepted later in the day when the ride is operational again. Otherwise, be advised to pay close attention to your return time, or else your FASTPASSes will expire and be nothing more than free souvenirs.

Be aware that our Lines optimizer is aware of this new policy, and will adjust your customized touring plans created with our tools accordingly.

What do you think of this new policy? Will it impact the way you tour the Disneyland Resort? Do you think it means more MyMagic+ features will be making their way to Anaheim from Orlando? Let us know what you think in the comment below.

 

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Posted on February 18, 2013

7 Responses to “Disneyland Resort Now Enforcing FASTPASS Return Windows”

  • We have always observed the return time window, not wanting to assume that just because there was an unwritten rule meant that every Disney employee would go by that. If you follow the touring plans, this is not a problem.

  • I think it’s a good thing. The whole point of a Fastpass was to give some control to the line flow and if people are taking the passes and using them at other times that can mess up that flow for other people. Our family always stuck to the times, and if anything we would just ask if we could go early if it appeared that the line wasn’t too long. We left it up to the Cast Member and if they said no well that was ok too.

  • I also think it’s about time. I have had passes for later in the day and had to wait a long time behind many people who had earlier tickets and not used them during their alloted time. I have seen families with a handfull of tickets they have been accumulating all day. I’m all for enforcing the times as printed, it should make the wait times run as planned.

    • If you want to talk about abusing ticket? I used to use tickets that were years old. They never check the date, just the time. Especially when I hold it with my finger covering the date.

  • I would rather they just get rid of fastpass altogether and make everyone wait in line. I think it would make the lines shorter because right now people are basically waiting in two lines at the same time.

  • I was trying to make customized touring plans, based on the ones in the Unofficial Guide. I got something completely different. I also got messages that I can’t get a Fast Pass first thing even on the day I will get to the parks well after opening. Do I go with the plans made for me online, with not getting a Fast Pass until 11am or even later? Or go with getting one as soon as possible?

  • I think this is great! I love that Disney is starting to enforce rules that level the playing field for everyone, whether it’s for fast pass or how ADRs are made. I agree with Rachel’s point that the return times are to have control over the length of the lines, so that everyone has a fair wait time. On our recent trip, we were always able to return with our young children at the designated time on our fast passes. It’s really not difficult to do and it’s respectful of other peoples times too. :-)