The future is here, and spontaneous family fun that is not planned to the minute is the enemy. Walt Disney World has begun using only FastPass for one of its’ moat popular attractions, Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The test is running this week, and in order to ride, guests will have to reserve a time to ride, or not ride at all. Could this test be the beginning of no standby lines at all?
Earlier this year Disney began testing the Fastpass only system when wait times for the Frozen Princess Meet and Greet reached several hours. The results would have guests returning to the area for a wait time no more than 30 minutes. That’s the upside. The down side? If you failed to beat the crowd, and all passes were given out for the day, you didn’t get to experience the attraction. The test was met with mixed reaction.
So the test begins again with Toy Story Midway Mania. Guests will have to get to the park and secure their FastPass ticket before they’re all gone, or reserve their time online using FastPass+. Once they return during their designated time, they will wait no more than 30 minutes to experience the ride.
The ride is wildly popular, and experiences huge waits almost immediately. FastPass tickets also are snapped up almost immediately. The question then becomes, is this really going to help things?
No one likes to wait in line, and when you add children to the mix, patience wears extremely thin. Moving guests in and out of line quickly is key to a happy experience, which is why FastPass was created (that and guests weren’t spending enough time in restaurants or gift shops). But is this really the answer? On one hand, it makes your whole experience planned out, and easy to follow. Less time waiting in line means more time to experience other things. On the other hand, will planning everything out make much of a difference in the time spent in line? The spontaneity will be gone, and everyone will have to adhere to a strict schedule. It could lead to more stress, and less fun.
Then there’s the issue of capacity. If you want to keep the waits down to 30 minutes, you’re either going to have to have no issues whatsoever, or you’re going to severely limit the amount of people that come through the line. This could, in theory, mean that guests could do less on a single visit, requiring more days. While that’s not terrible for Disney’s bottom line, it is for guests on a budget, or time restraints. That would be one way to ensure that guests won’t have enough time to visit other area theme parks like Universal.
So what do you think? Is an all FastPass ride system going to help your vacation or hurt it? Let us know in the comments below.
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