Posts Tagged ‘Fastpass’

FastPass+ Testing To Begin For Annual Passholders

by on January 27, 2014

©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.

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Your FastPass+ Priorities at Epcot

by on January 22, 2014

Spaceship-Earth

A small ceremony at Leave A Legacy in Future World Plaza marks the end of FASTPASS.

Epcot begins exclusive use of FastPass+ on Thursday, marking the official end of the original FASTPASS system at Walt Disney World. We think it would be appropriate tomorrow to recognize the occasion.

We’ve updated of our Epcot touring plans to use only FastPass+. Each plan now lists the suggested FastPass+ start times for the attractions that will save you the most time in line, like this:

Suggested start times for FastPass+ reservations:

Mission: SPACE (Orange) = 9 AM
Soarin’ = 10 AM
Spaceship Earth = 11 AM

The updated plans are very efficient, with the average wait in line under 9 minutes per attraction on most plans. In fact, because the plans are so efficient, we’ve added Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure and other attractions to many of the plans for teens and adults. (We also really like the game.) And some touring plans only use 2 of the 3 FastPass+ reservations you’re given each day, which means you have 1 more to revisit a favorite attraction (that you’ve not already used FastPass+ on that day) or try a new ride.

When we updated the plans, we kept track of how many times each attraction was identified as needing FastPass+. As we did for the Magic Kingdom’s FastPass+ priorities, here’s Epcot’s chart:

Epcot Fastpass Plus Chart

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Observations From Animal Kingdom: January 18, 2014

by on January 22, 2014

This weekend I went over to Animal Kingdom to test FastPass+ and to check out the former site of Camp Minnie-Mickey. I thought you guys would like to come with me! Saturday was very cold by Florida standards! The high was only 57 degrees, so I was thankful afternoon FastPass+ slots were available for Kilimanjaro Safaris. I secured our 3:40 – 4:40 time slot. Since all FastPass+ reservations come in trios, I was also assigned FastPass+ to meet Mickey and to see Finding Nemo – The Musical. Upon arriving at 2:30pm I discovered parking attendants weren’t even directing cars where to park! This suggested that crowds would be manageable. Here is what it looked like walking in:

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Your FastPass+ Priorities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on January 21, 2014

Disney’s Animal Kingdom began exclusive use of FastPass+ on earlier this month. At that time, we updated of our Disney’s Animal Kingdom touring plans to use only FastPass+. Each plan now lists the suggested Fastpass+ start times for the attractions that will save you the most time in line, like this:

Suggested start times for FastPass+ reservations:

Kali River Rapids = 10 AM
DINOSAUR = 1 PM
Kilimanjaro Safaris = 4 PM

The updated plans are very efficient – the average wait in line should be under 7 minutes per step during summer for our standard 1-day Unofficial Guide Touring Plan - with more than an hour of free time available in the afternoon.

When we updated the plans, we kept track of how many times each attraction was identified as needing FastPass+. As we did for the Magic Kingdom’s FastPass+ priorities, here’s the Animal Kingdom’s chart:Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Priorities

FastPass+ is offered at more than a dozen Animal Kingdon attractions, only about half of them ever require FastPass+ in our touring plans. Here’s why.

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FASTPASS and FastPass+: What’s the Difference?

by on January 21, 2014

With the legacy paper FASTPASS program about to go the way of Horizons and [insert the name of your favorite defunct Disney attraction], I thought this would be a good time to review the differences between the old system and the new.

My last paper FastPass. Sniff, sniff.

My last paper FastPass. Sniff, sniff.

Here is a roundup of how legacy paper FASTPASS (FP) and FastPass+ (FP+) are different.

Ability to Obtain the Reservation in Advance of Your Trip

  • With FP, you had to get your ride reservation in the park, on the day of your visit.
  • With FP+, some guests can make ride reservations as early as 60 days prior to their trip.

Guest Stratification

  • With FP, all guests had equal ability to obtain ride reservations.
  • With FP+, guests of the Disney resort hotels have priority ability to get reservations.

Ability to Get Ride Reservations at More Than One Park Per Day

  • With FP, you could Park Hop and get ride reservations at more than one of Disney’s theme parks during a single day.
  • With FP+, you are limited to obtaining ride reservations at one park per day.

Ability to Get More Than One Reservation for the Same Ride

  • With FP, you could get a ride reservation, use it, and then get another reservation for that same ride. The only limit was FP availability and the guest’s stamina.
  • With FP+, the computer system only allows you to make a reservation for a ride once per day.
A thing of the past.

A thing of the past.

Number of Ride Reservations Available to Each Guest

  • With FP, the upper limit of ride reservations was just the number of hours in the day.
  • With FP+, each guest has a limit of three ride reservations per day. (Note: Some guests have seen four reservations per day in testing. This may change.)

Location of Reservation Acquisition

  • With FP, guests had to physically visit a machine at each attraction to obtain a ride reservation.
  • With FP+, ride reservation acquisition has multiple points of entry. Disney resort guests can make reservations on their computer at home, or on a personal smartphone or tablet at home or in the parks. All guests can make reservations for any available attraction at kiosks throughout the parks. (Note: With the death of the paper FP, we can now also retire the related terms “FASTPASS runner” and “FASTPASS sacrifice.” R.I.P. Disney jargon.)

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My First Walt Disney World Annual Passholder FastPass+ Experience

by on January 20, 2014

Based on how much this blog has covered the ongoing FastPass+ rollout at Walt Disney World over the past year or two, you might assume every member of the Touring Plans team already has enough MagicBands to decorate their Christmas tree (I’m looking at you, Morgan Crutchfield). But since I haven’t stayed in a Walt Disney World on-site hotel since before the MyMagic+ program began, I’ve been excluded…until now. As we reported, Animal Kingdom went FastPass+-only late last year, followed by the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, January 14, and the rest of the parks will remove their paper legacy FASTPASS machines shortly. Now that the FastPass+ service has been opened to all guests, this acknowledged sceptic took the plunge with my first Annual Passholder FastPass+ experience.

Animal Kingdom

To be precise, my first FastPass+ adventure was an incomplete attempt that was unfair to judge the service by. Earlier in January, I tried using the service on one of the first days it was offered to off-site guests by visiting the kiosks outside Disney Outfitters on Discovery Island.

There was no wait, and a friendly cast member assisted me in using the touchscreen computer to enter my information and select three attractions.

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Your FastPass+ Priorities at the Magic Kingdom

by on January 14, 2014

The Magic Kingdom begins exclusive use of FastPass+ today. We’ve updated all 50 of our Magic Kingdom touring plan templates to use only FastPass+. Each plan now lists the suggested FastPass+ start times for the attractions that will save you the most time in line, like this:

Suggested start times for FastPass+ reservations:

Peter Pan’s Flight = 10 AM
Buzz Lightyear = 5 PM
Enchanted Tales with Belle = 7 PM

We also added the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to most plans, as we think that will begin previews sometime next month.

When we updated the plans, we kept track of how many times each attraction was identified as needing FastPass+. It turns out that this is a prioritized list of which attractions you should use FastPass+ for to avoid long waits in line:

FastPass+ Priorities

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Magic Kingdom Becomes FastPass+ Only Next Tuesday, Epcot and DHS by End of January

by on January 10, 2014

Magic Kingdom Goes FastPass+ OnlyWe’ve heard from reliable sources outside and inside Disney that the Magic Kingdom’s legacy FASTPASS machines will be turned off by Tuesday, January 14, 2014. Magic Kingdom will use the FastPass+ system exclusively for ride reservations, for both on-site and off-site guests, from Tuesday on. (Note that at this point off-site guests are limited to making reservations via in-park kiosks on the day they are touring that park.)

Magic Kingdom joins Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which converted to exclusive FastPass+ in December. We expect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to move to FastPass+ only by the end of January.

All of our Magic Kingdom touring plans will be updated this weekend to remove FASTPASS instructions and to make suggestions for FastPass+ reservation times. Also, our free computer-optimized touring plans will end FASTPASS support for Magic Kingdom touring plan dates of January 14 or later.

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All Disney Resorts to Test MagicBands Only to Guests

by on January 6, 2014

MyMagic+ and MagicBands

©Disney

It would seem that the tests at Pop Century and the All-Star Resorts have gone well, because by the end of the month of January, every other resort will be issuing only MagicBands to resort guests for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort. This is being done as a part of the continued roll out of MyMagic+.

The test will be rolled out to the hotels according to this schedule:

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All Animal Kingdom Touring Plans Updated for FastPass+

by on December 17, 2013

Starting Wednesday, December 18, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will turn off its legacy FASTPASS machines and make FastPass+ available to all guests. UPDATE: See below for the paper form off-site guests will need to fill out to make FastPass+ requests.

We’ve updated all of our Animal Kingdom touring plans to include suggested FastPass+ reservations times, and to remove references to the original FASTPASS system.

You’ll find each plan’s recommended FastPass+ return times in the Summary section. If you’re able to secure FastPass+ reservations near these times, the plan should work without any changes:

Animal Kingdom Touring Plan FastPass+ Suggestions

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