Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pluses and Minuses of FastPass+

With some firsthand experience using MagicBands and FastPass+ under our belts (see this previous post), we'll summarize some the the positives and negatives of Walt Disney World's new reservation system for attractions and other in-park experiences. Disney has already improved the operation of FastPass+ since it began testing the system last year, so some of the current negatives may just be growing pains, so we will update this document as the system evolves.

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Great for days when you arrive late to a park, you can reserve FastPass times for popular attractions that would previously have been sold out
Can select the times you want, instead of just the next available time (works great if you're leaving the park to take a break, if you won't return to a certain "land" until much later in the day, or to work around other reservations) Selecting exactly the time you want sometimes requires some fiddling with the system
Don't have to walk to an attraction twice (in the past you'd go once to get your paper FastPass and again to ride) Still need to visit FastPass kiosks if "hopping" to a second park or to make more than three reservations in a single day
You can lock in FastPasses for popular attractions long before you leave home FastPasses a few new or very popular attractions (like the Anna & Elsa meet and greet or some Star Wars Weekends events) may sell out before you even get a chance to reserve one
Disney resort guests may book FastPasses 60 days before their vacations Non-Disney resort guests may book FastPasses 30 days in advance, but must have already purchased a valid park ticket to do so
Some quick service restaurants (currently only Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom) offer the chance to order your meal in advance, then just show up at the restaurant, check-in, sit down, and eat

Can only pre-select FastPasses for one park each day

Can't pre-select FastPasses for the same attraction more than once in the same day

In the Studios and Epcot, FastPasses are tiered so that if you select one popular attraction you cannot select FastPasses for some other popular attractions that day

Changing times or attractions on your phone or other mobile device sounds like a great convenience, but in practice it is slow and clunky

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