Welcome to Local 6 Theme World

March 21, 2014

FastPass+ For Locals

Greetings again. This week's media walk-through of Disney's "Next Gen" project was enlightening. Several of you have asked me to explain the difference between the three main parts and how they work together.

The new and (Disney hopes) game-changing program is called "MyMagic+"
That's the umbrella name for the $1 billion+ project.   The MagicBands act as your entry ticket, among other things.



Once you are past the gates, you no longer need to dash to Splash Mountain  to get your FastPass.  


 That's because FastPass has gone away. The new FastPass+ currently allows guests to reserve 3 ride/attraction/show  times at 1 park per day.  However, there is currently a downside to this.


That's not the line for Monsters, INC Laugh Floor. That's the line to wait for a chance to pick those FastPass+es at special kiosks in the parks.  Right now, Disney resort guests can make and alter those choices with the third part of the equation: The MyDisneyExperience mobile app or website. And they can make their choices up to 60 days in advance.
 As I mentioned recently, Annual Passholders are now able to get a band for free.
And even if they don't have a band, passholders  who link their tickets to the app and website can start reserving FastPass+ times from home.  To learn how to get started: click here.

 
Passholders can  reserve FastPass+es 30 days in advance (not 60 like resort guests). They can make 3 choices per day (all in the same park) ; and they can schedule FastPass+es for 7 days out of each 30 days.   
Though at Epcot and Hollywood Studios -- you may have to make some tough choices on what you pick.  Click here for more on those tiered choices.


You may wonder why the castle's moat is drained.
Disney can handle more FastPass+es per day now because it has expanded dramatically the number of attractions that offer them. For the first time, you can also reserve a place to watch the fireworks, spectacles and parades.  The big remake of the Magic Kingdom's central hub will allow more people to watch from those reserved areas.  More on the hub remake here.
So what are the downsides? Well, quite a lot of people I have polled who have tried FastPass+ & the MagicBands like the new system, and see its potential.  Experienced passholders and FastPass users grouse about the limit of 3 picks per day, and really hate only being able to reserve times in 1 park per day. Disney Parks Vice President Jim McPhee (who is leading the MyMagic+ program) says hang in there. Disney is still very much testing this system and we will likely see some changes to those limits.



The real downside is for day guests, who currently must wait in those kiosk lines. The app, currently is not an option. Also, in the busy times of year (like now)  some popular rides run out of FastPass+es early in the day, or sometimes before  the day begins.   There is also some anecdotal evidence that the standby wait times are  now longer at attractions, like the Haunted Mansion & Pirates, that didn't have FastPass before.  I have checked with a couple of people about that claim, and am told it is too early to know if there is a link between longer lines and the new system.
 
We will keep you posted on how the system evolves and changes.

Keep your emails, questions, tips and comments coming! I always appreciate the feedback. You can always find all of my blog entries at www.clickorlando.com/themeparks