Posts Tagged ‘Fastpass’

FastPass+ Is Lowering Your Wait at Popular Disney World Rides

by on June 23, 2014

In April we took at look at How FastPass+ Is Affecting Your Wait In Line At Disney World. We saw a small increase in standby wait times for secondary attractions like Spaceship Earth and Pirates of the Caribbean, and a small drop in standby wait times for super-headliners like Space Mountain and Expedition Everest.

Here’s an update, using 278,000 wait times from Walt Disney World between February 1 and June 19, 2014:

How Fastpass+ Affects Your Waits in Line

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Disney Changes FastPass+ Tiers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot

by on June 10, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Disney is still constantly tweaking FastPass+ selections that are available for guests, and a brand new tweak is currently on the horizon. Beginning Monday, June 16, Disney will change up the tiers of attractions available for guests at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here is a look at what will be affected.

At Epcot, originally, Living With the Land was a Tier 2 attraction, while the Epcot Character Spot and Maelstrom were Tier 1 options.

Beginning June 16, Epcot’s tier system will be as follows:

Tier 1 (Choose One)

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opening Day Observations

by on June 2, 2014

Seven Dwarfs mine train observations

All aboard the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at WDW’s Magic Kingdom (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Unless you’ve been living underneath a magical gem mine for the past month, you’ve probably heard about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction that opened on May 28, 2014, at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Len Testa’s review of the ride does a thorough job of explaining why we feel this family-friendly roller-coaster is worthy of 3½ stars. I accompanied Len on a soft-opening preview of Fantasyland’s newest ride during the 24 hour “Rock Your Disney Side” party, and returned on opening day to experience the ride during official operations. Here are some Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening day observations that may make your visit more “heigh-ho” and less “poison apple.”

 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Standby Queue

The queue area around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is lovingly sculpted and landscaped, but unfortunately there isn’t quite enough of it. The standby line runs out of the entrance (across from Storybook Treats snack stand) and stretches along the sidewalk towards Storybook Circus. When I stepped into the queue near the Mad Tea Party, the wait time was 75 minutes, according the portable wait sign held by a cast member marking the end of the line. However, by the time I reached the actual queue entrance, the wait was posted at 110 minutes, which proved much closer to my actual 100 minute wait.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Review; Educating teh Childrens; MagicBands Update

by on May 28, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Review

On Friday I was in the Magic Kingdom for its annual 24-hour event, and got to ride the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the last part of the New Fantasyland construction project that began in 2010.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as seen from the Be Our Guest queue in Fantasyland.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as seen from the Be Our Guest queue in Fantasyland.

There are a lot of things to like about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. For one, it’s faster than I expected, but not so fast that it would frighten small children. Also, the ride track is much smoother than any comparable ride in the Magic Kingdom. This should be good news for both families and for seniors who want to avoid the rough ride of attractions like Big Thunder Mountain.

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May 7, 2014: Magic Kingdom and the Fourth Fastpass+

by on May 13, 2014

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re ready for a report full of pixie dust! I’d originally planned on doing a post about May the 4th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios but it seems like everyone has been talking about that this week. Instead I decided to take you on a fun filled night at the Magic Kingdom. Let’s get started! Of course, Mickey was there to greet me before I even arrived to the park…

IMG_2447

I decided to take some video as we rolled into the Magic Kingdom Monorail station. Unfortunately, it’s complete with authentic kid finger prints on the glass. No matter where I moved around the window was just covered.

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Update on FastPass+ Only Meet and Greets at Walt Disney World

by on May 12, 2014

Minnie Mouse Meet at DHSIt appears that Disney has changed its mind. I’m not sure if it’s a temporary measure or if Disney has decided to go a different route.

Previously I reported that starting on May 11, Disney was going to begin including in the line up of FastPass+ choices the option of three FastPass+ ONLY meet and greets. At these meet and greets, guests would only be able to meet select characters by making a FastPass+ reservation for them, and standby would not be an option. I even personally saw one of the signs signifying this option at Epcot when I visited the park last week.

The three meet and greets that were supposed to become FastPass+ ONLY were at Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion in a meet and greet opportunity with Winnie the Pooh, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at The Magic of Disney Animation with a Minnie Mouse meet and greet, and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a new meet and greet opportunity at the Character Landing with Daisy and Donald.

However, when pulling up the My Disney Experience site today, it appears that what was once listed as a FastPass+ ONLY option for these meet and greets has now disappeared. These meet and greets are no longer listed in a spot where they once so prominently were.

So, let’s get everything out there in a clear and concise form…

  • Disney seems to have done away with the FastPass+ ONLY option. (I’m not sure if this is a permanent move or a temporary one. Only time will tell. I do know the outcry against this idea was large.)
  • These three meet and greet opportunities are all available as standby only at this point and time.
  • Donald and Daisy are now meeting at the Character Landing in Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, replacing Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.

I will make sure to keep you updated if anything else changes.

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Frozen Princess Meet and Greet in the Magic Kingdom: An Update

by on May 12, 2014

It’s been a few weeks now since the Frozen Princess meet and greet with Anna and Elsa began at Princess Fairytale Hall and there are lots of questions about how FastPass+ works for the attraction. First, a little about the venue itself. Princess Fairytale Hall opened in late 2013 to house the Magic Kingdom’s princess meet and greets.

Exterior of Princess Fairytale Hall

Guests queue to meet the Princesses in Fantasyland

 

Princess Fairytale Hall (PFH) sits behind the castle just across from the carousel. Until late April of this year, guests could visit Cinderella and a surprise princess guest on one side of the hall and Rapunzel and a surprise princess guest on the other. Rapunzel generally commanded higher wait times than Cinderella, but both princess meet and greets were eligible for FastPass+. On April 20, Anna and Elsa from Disney’s wildly popular movie, Frozen, began meeting and greeting with a surprise princess guest on one side of the hall and Rapunzel and Cinderella joined to meet on the other side.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ Advice and Ride Testing Observations

by on May 9, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train making a test run in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland (photos by Seth Kubersky)

As you may have heard, during the first few days in May, Walt Disney World allowed select media to preview the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland, and announced a May 28 official opening date for the attraction. Public soft openings are expected some time in the next few weeks, but for now the only people riding the family-friendly coaster during operating hours are employees involved with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train testing and training. On the Monday after the media preview, Touring Plans stats guru Fred Hazelton and I paid a visit to the Magic Kingdom. There, we had the opportuninity to observe the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train making training and testing runs, as the attraction cycled spordically — both with and without riders — over the course of several hours. In addition, we have some advice on securing coveted Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ reservations, as well as an update on using four or more FastPass+ appointments in one day.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Testing Observations

Let’s start with some scenic shots of the Mine Train, and the mind-blowing quantity of rockwork and landscaping that went into the area surrounding it.

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FastPass+ Only Character Meet and Greet Opportunities Begin Soon

by on May 7, 2014

Minnie Mouse Meet at DHSWe’ve known it was going to happen for a while, where select character meet and greet opportunities would only be available for guests who made FastPass+ reservations. It appears this exclusive option is currently on the horizon.

Beginning this Sunday, May 11, some select meet and greet opportunities will only be available to guests who make reservations. (As a matter of fact, I even noticed one of the FastPass+ ONLY signs when I was at Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion this past weekend and thought…hmmm…. Little did I realize that this would be implemented soon.)

Here are the locations where guests will only be able to meet select characters by having a FastPass+ reservation. (Standby will not be available.)

Epcot

  • United Kingdom Pavilion – Meet Winnie the Pooh (a Tier 1 attraction choice)

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April 22, 2014: Magic Kingdom Observations and FastPass+ Fun

by on April 28, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve taken you guys with me on one of my after work weeknight adventures and I thought we were due for a few magical hours in the Magic Kingdom. Taking a look at the photo below you can tell the crowds certainly haven’t cleared out from Easter yet! I was worried we wouldn’t get the most out of the night because it was so busy. But I managed to snag some great FastPass+ times that I’m excited to tell you about! Unfortunately, if you take a look at the clock in the photo below you’ll see that I was going to be late for my first FastPass+ reservation that expired at 6:45pm. Eek! Let’s hurry!

IMG_2131

Luckily, even though I was a solid 10 minutes late for my appointment with the Haunted Mansion they let us through with no issue. I’ve heard you can be up to 15 minutes late for a FastPass+ and 5 minutes early without getting into trouble. I’m glad they let us in because I was able to get this photo of the grave digger. He’s still a little out of focus but this is the closest I’ve gotten to a decent photo of him. He’s sort of my white whale of photography!! ;)

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