FastPass+ Testing To Begin For Annual Passholders

by 14 Comments

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©Disney

©Disney

Annual Passholders have been waiting (some patiently, most impatiently) for the day when FastPass+ testing for them would begin. It appears that AP holders will now have this opportunity, beginning in the next few weeks. This test is very limited, and Passholders will be selected at random to participate.

The test will allow Annual Passholders to test MyMagic+ by making advance FastPass+ reservations, using My Disney Experience, and customizing MagicBands.

Like other tests, the Passholders who are selected for the trial will be able to make 3 FastPass+ reservations at a single park per day. Those testing the system will be able to make FastPass+ selections by using either the My Disney Experience app or by stopping at a FastPass+ kiosk. Passholders will be able to make up to seven days of FastPass+ selections over a continuous 60 day time period.

In addition, participating Passholders will receive a discount card. This card must be used (along with a photo ID) to receive a Passholder discounts. Cards will either be black or gold. The gold card indicates complimentary parking is included. The black card indicates that the guest has no complimentary parking.

Once selected for the program, Annual Passholders should then have the ability to customize and order MagicBands and be able to use them in the parks.

A roll out for all Annual Passholders is expected to take place within the coming months. For more information, visit the Passholder information page.

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Posted on January 27, 2014

14 Responses to “FastPass+ Testing To Begin For Annual Passholders”

  • I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to schedule a few days in advance & see how it goes along with my touring plan.

    Last week, 1/21, as we were driving through the parking, the attendant asked if we were going to the parks. He handed me the fast pass options that were available to pass holders.

    I used the Kiosk in Guest Relations. There was only one group at each machine ahead of me. No cast members were there to assist. The man ahead of me was having trouble activating the screen. He asked his wife to get some help. She was very shy in doing so. She finally got someone’s attention, but that CM said he’d get there when he could. Finally he stepped back from the machine and I saw the Mickey where he needed to put his magic band – duh! It was all new for me too! This took about about 10 minutes.

    Using the machine was a bit of a pain. The cursor was difficult to get on the ‘next’ button at the bottom of the screen. When I did get it there, it was difficult to keep there to click the next button. It wasn’t clear to me that I was choosing my options in groups. (I’m going again this friday, I’ll be more aware of the initial options on the screen next time.)

    I made my first choice and then, it seemed like the other 2 fp+ options just were chosen for me. However, I was able to make some changes. If I wasn’t aware that I could make changes, I would have just assumed that those were the other options that I had for the day.

    Later on in the day I stopped by the area in Liberty Square and made an additional change to our final fp+.

    I felt somewhat pushed through my day – needing to keep track of time until we used our final fp. I did make a picture of the screen with my phone. But I discovered that I was able to check the times in my phone app. – That only worked because I purchased a back up battery for my phone recently.

    I can see how people easily forget the fast pass times. When I choose my times, I had an awareness of the range I selected, but I didn’t keep the start & finish times locked in my brain.

    I saw a few back ups with the fast pass lines. There was one in the late afternoon for the Little Mermaid ride. There was a horrible one at Space Mountain. The line was backed up past the popcorn stand – in between the People Mover tracks! It took at least 20 minutes to clear. (We had gotten some snacks at Lunching Pad, sat & watch the fp line.)

    Overall, I didn’t care for having all my fp options planned out for me on the same day like this. Some days I don’t use any fast passes and only ride one or two rides. I felt pressured that if I didn’t choose all 3 right then and there, I may not get any later as the day progressed.

    It was kind of irritating to have to wait on a line for a machine to make these reservations instead of just going on to the rides or enjoying the morning entertainment. The line in the Rose Garden in the morning was backed up all the way to the entrance of the Rose Garden.

    - Who knows, I hope that I’ll get use to it and that some day, they allow us to make reservations at more than one park per day.

  • Oh- one thing that was fun about the fp+ – I liked putting my card up against the Mickey when going on a ride and seeing the green light appear! I’m a techie junkie, so that part was fun!

  • We are AP holders living near the parks. We had a chance to use the same-day FP+ system yesterday at Animal Kingdom. The first FP+ kiosk area off to the right as you enter Discovery Island had a big line so we kept on going. We found a single kiosk with a CM in Dinoland where the old FP machines were at the entrance to the Primeval Whirl. That kiosk had no line at all, so we were able to try it out. The CM helped us create a group in the system using our AP cards and then we picked three attractions for FP use. At 3:12 in the afternoon we were able to get FPs for Primeval Whirl at 3:20, Dinosaur at 4:45, and Exp. Everest at 5:45. Not bad at all… The crowd level according to Touring Plans was 4 out of 10, which seemed about right. We had to park fairly far back in the lots, but some of the earlier parkgoers had probably already left.

    One BIG suggestion I would have for Disney: Update your website and “MyDisneyExperience” app to show locations of the active FP+ kiosks. It’s annoying trying to look up this information only to find out where the old FP machines are located. A little more advance coordination with the IT department would have helped a lot.

    • I like the suggestion of knowing where FP+ kiosks are. You confirmed what I already suspected. The one closest to the entrance had the largest line and one farther in didn’t have a line at all.

  • Thinking about converting to AP in April. Since I stay on property, will I be able to make FP+ reservations 60 days in advance like everyone else…or is that part of the problem with having APs right now.

    • Yes, if you are staying on property then you can make your FP+ reservations 60 days in advance whether you have an annual pass or not. This test phase for annual passes will allow those pass holders staying off property to make those FP+ reservations. FYI the Swalphin are not participating in the MDE and FP+ system, so they will in essence be “off property” for that purpose.

  • We were able to link our Annual Passes to our Port Orleans French Quarter resort reservation in early December. Later that month, I went back to WDW and stayed at the Dolphin. I was able to continue to use MDE to make reservations in advance for that second trip. I have recently just passed into the 60 day window for our next trip and though we are again at the Dolphin, and do not have our reservation linked to our stay, I can still make FastPass+ and Dining Reservations using MDE. I think the on-site stay was the trick. That got us Magic Bands and into the system fairly early in the process.

  • by Frank Fleming on January 27, 2014, at 7:10 pm EDT

    Soooo maybe I am misunderstanding the black versus gold discount card. Is WDW doing away with free parking at the parks for annual passholders?

    • Probably just carrying on with the existing plans where certain levels of APs have free parking and others (Seasonal, Epcot after 4) do not.

  • So, can someone explain the cards to me? I was on another forum that shall not be named and the reaction about the cards in nothing short of hysterical. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  • Ref: the gold cards, I got mine yesterday, they are simply a gold card that on the front says disney annual passholder, on the back has name, expiration date, and symbol like the current annual pass that it is valid for parking since a premium annual pass. this is just a replacement for the old annual pass card, but does not include the admission, that is on the magic band.