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Changes To Fastpass+?

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
So discussion is going on at Magic that Fastpass will likely never actually comeback as Fastpass. The video below discusses quite a bit. They would bring it in as a high priced add on much like Express passed but more expensive. They are also looking at raising prices and expanding virtual queues, which would allow them to continue to restrict crowds per day and maximize there per guest revenue.

None of this is for sure, much is still just being discussed internally, but these are the type of moves Chapek wants to make and honestly, we shouldn't be surprised.
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,565
So discussion is going on at Magic that Fastpass will likely never actually comeback as Fastpass. The video below discusses quite a bit. They would bring it in as a high priced add on much like Express passed but more expensive. They are also looking at raising prices and expanding virtual queues, which would allow them to continue to restrict crowds per day and maximize there per guest revenue.

None of this is for sure, much is still just being discussed internally, but these are the type of moves Chapek wants to make and honestly, we shouldn't be surprised.
The video summed up the rumors pretty well! With what's been happening, it feels like the writing's on the wall on the kind of direction they wanna' take. Naturally it's a wait and see if any of these are implemented, but there are some things I'd be fine with, and others not so much.

The big one that I'd be fine with is the rumored "Lightning Pass" (aka paid Fastpass.) In my experience with FP, MaxPass and Universal Express Pass (both early version and current version), I've been much happier with the paid variants of MaxPass and Express Pass. I've been able to get much more out of them, and it feels like the parks have a much better handle on things since they know how many people actually have them.

I know there are those who'll fervently defend FP because it's "Free" or it's "Fair", yet that's the system which has historically been gamed and abused by those who knew the loopholes. It was rather telling when people complained when Disney started sticking to people showing up at their timeslot. Either way, for me the best versions of these systems are the ones with a limit of how many people can use them.

I also know some folks wanna' say "But Tapu Tap-", that was designed from the ground up for a water park which doesn't have the same park capacity nor high capacity attractions such as a major theme park. What can work for a water park doesn't mean it can work for a theme park in a normal sense, since while a water park like VB can handle a park-wide virtual queue system...both Disney and Universal haven't had the best of luck with VQ's for a few popular rides...

Which brings up my next comment, something which I'm not too fond of is the rumor of more virtual queues. It was a pain with RotR, so I don't have the best of faith if they wanna' start adding more VQ's all around. They really don't have the kind of network/system to handle that, so that can lead to more headaches.
 
Last edited:
Sep 12, 2019
164
2 main problems I have moving to virtual queues.

1. I hate that there is a real chance you may not get on the ride. I mean we can all complain about a 3 hour line, but at least you still have the option to get in line if you want. With virtual queue you don’t have that option.

2. The parks were not designed to have that many people not in a line. Lines are huge people eaters. If no one is standing in line then they are on the paths. Disney likes this because they figure it leads to guests spending more money on food or merchandise-the original purpose of FP. But it is difficult to get around during busy times...can you imagine how impossible it will be if people can’t be in the lines?!
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
2. The parks were not designed to have that many people not in a line. Lines are huge people eaters. If no one is standing in line then they are on the paths. Disney likes this because they figure it leads to guests spending more money on food or merchandise-the original purpose of FP. But it is difficult to get around during busy times...can you imagine how impossible it will be if people can’t be in the lines?!
The plan here would be to raise prices so that they can maximize the revenue per guest meaning that don't want people in the park not spending money. If you are in a queue, you aren't spending money. They want people spending money is the thought. This thought process has never actually proved to work with FastPass or MyMagic+, but supposedly they are thinking about it again.

Basically, they are aiming this all at the high spending guests and guests who have a lot of money.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,282
Pittsburgh area
Yes, that was the sales pitch for the muti billion My Magic plan. I believe the Executive pitch wording was to get more money out of people's wallets. At many shareholder meetings the question popped
up to Iger to quantify how much money they were making off of My Magic plus. The answer was always silence, with proverbial crickets chirping in the background. But unfortunately, in real life, this doesn't necessarily work.
My guess is the executives that pitch these plans don't really spend much time touring parks so they're making decisions from theoretical spreadsheets....But no surprise here, especially with Chapek in charge.
. Disney management hasn't been in a take care of your guests priority stance for a good while. They're still living off their reputation of past years when they actually held guest satisfaction highly...But it will catch up with
them in the future. It caught up to Sears and other companies that changed their early long term gain philosophies for short term profit motive. . It will catch up to Disney too, if they continue down the path of getting
short term gains and sacrifice long term goodwill for those short term profits. ............I've said it many times. I love the Disney parks. But I strongly dislike their executive management decisions.
 
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shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,870
Florida
So discussion is going on at Magic that Fastpass will likely never actually comeback as Fastpass. The video below discusses quite a bit. They would bring it in as a high priced add on much like Express passed but more expensive. They are also looking at raising prices and expanding virtual queues, which would allow them to continue to restrict crowds per day and maximize there per guest revenue.

None of this is for sure, much is still just being discussed internally, but these are the type of moves Chapek wants to make and honestly, we shouldn't be surprised.
BREAKING: Disney learns about Universal Express

But seriously..I'm totally fine if FP+ never returns I think it will help to relieve some tension on the main stand-by line
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
BREAKING: Disney learns about Universal Express

But seriously..I'm totally fine if FP+ never returns I think it will help to relieve some tension on the main stand-by line
I agree. Hopefully the main stand-by line would move faster and depending on how they wanted to price it they could actually make a ton of money off of very few actual park guests.
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
4,078
So discussion is going on at Magic that Fastpass will likely never actually comeback as Fastpass. The video below discusses quite a bit. They would bring it in as a high priced add on much like Express passed but more expensive. They are also looking at raising prices and expanding virtual queues, which would allow them to continue to restrict crowds per day and maximize there per guest revenue.

None of this is for sure, much is still just being discussed internally, but these are the type of moves Chapek wants to make and honestly, we shouldn't be surprised.
Honestly, this nonsense is a good way to get me to never return to Walt Disney World.
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,565
I agree. Hopefully the main stand-by line would move faster and depending on how they wanted to price it they could actually make a ton of money off of very few actual park guests.
Yeah, depending how they wanna' price things, it could be fairly lucrative for them. As for the stand-by, the possibility of not having as many people in FP would certainly help. Though it'll also come down to ops since I still remember a fair share of rides where the management between the two lines were pretty bad. This seems to be a WDW thing since I didn't really see this issue at DL (granted, I felt ops in general were better there than WDW.), nor UOR. Heck, at UOR a couple weeks ago I saw some very nice ops such as Mummy loading both stand-by and Express into the same car from both sides. I honestly don't recall them doing that before, so that was a good way to take care of both lines.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,282
Pittsburgh area
Yeah, depending how they wanna' price things, it could be fairly lucrative for them. As for the stand-by, the possibility of not having as many people in FP would certainly help. Though it'll also come down to ops since I still remember a fair share of rides where the management between the two lines were pretty bad. This seems to be a WDW thing since I didn't really see this issue at DL (granted, I felt ops in general were better there than WDW.), nor UOR. Heck, at UOR a couple weeks ago I saw some very nice ops such as Mummy loading both stand-by and Express into the same car from both sides. I honestly don't recall them doing that before, so that was a good way to take care of both lines.
They've been doing that at Universal all the years I've been going. We're generally there the slower seasons and often there's only a handful of people in attraction Express lines, including the Mummy, during those slower seasons.
Ops at Universal are pretty good.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
Honestly, this nonsense is a good way to get me to never return to Walt Disney World.
Yeah, ever since the implementation of Park Pass, I’ve been unsatisfied and didn’t renew my AP for the first time in years. I wasn’t going to pay for another year of a pass when I was still going to have the park pass system to deal with. Idk, unless they make it easier to go to the parks, I may not pay to go back any time soon (I say pay to go back specifically as a family member recently got hired at the resort).
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
3,061
Orlando
So discussion is going on at Magic that Fastpass will likely never actually comeback as Fastpass. The video below discusses quite a bit. They would bring it in as a high priced add on much like Express passed but more expensive. They are also looking at raising prices and expanding virtual queues, which would allow them to continue to restrict crowds per day and maximize there per guest revenue.

None of this is for sure, much is still just being discussed internally, but these are the type of moves Chapek wants to make and honestly, we shouldn't be surprised.
This sounds "right." Yes, basically copying Universal ca. 2002-2003, without the hotel option. I imagine $100 - $300 is either dynamic pricing, based on time of year, or one time each attraction v. unlimited access. Puts it just below double what Universal gets, IIRC, making Disney parks look premium.

That said, other than for a testing period, I don't see virtual queues or limited crowds going hand-in-hand with this. The Mouse needs long physical lines to sell the value. If I can waltz into Peter Pan with my Lightning Pass but I don't see at least 100 other guests waiting, I feel like a sap instead of a VIP. Same reason restaurant prices skyrocketed in the wake of the Dining Plan. (This is in addition to the valid capacity arguments.)

I also disagree with the host's suggestion Disney might ditch this and return to normal FP. If one thing was clear in the half decade leading up to 2020, it's that WDW was broken. Too much planning, too much waiting for "normie" guests. Honestly this system has worked for two decades at Universal with only minor hiccups when a new ride doesn't have appropriate capacity, and is the best we probably could have hoped for at WDW.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
This sounds "right." Yes, basically copying Universal ca. 2002-2003, without the hotel option. I imagine $100 - $300 is either dynamic pricing, based on time of year, or one time each attraction v. unlimited access. Puts it just below double what Universal gets, IIRC, making Disney parks look premium.

That said, other than for a testing period, I don't see virtual queues or limited crowds going hand-in-hand with this. The Mouse needs long physical lines to sell the value. If I can waltz into Peter Pan with my Lightning Pass but I don't see at least 100 other guests waiting, I feel like a sap instead of a VIP. Same reason restaurant prices skyrocketed in the wake of the Dining Plan. (This is in addition to the valid capacity arguments.)

I also disagree with the host's suggestion Disney might ditch this and return to normal FP. If one thing was clear in the half decade leading up to 2020, it's that WDW was broken. Too much planning, too much waiting for "normie" guests. Honestly this system has worked for two decades at Universal with only minor hiccups when a new ride doesn't have appropriate capacity, and is the best we probably could have hoped for at WDW.
I imagine the whole expanding VQs thing is more some number crunchers wet dream than something that is viable and likely to happen. I agree that switching more to a system like Universal has just makes sense and tbh, i'm surprised it hasn't happened already given that it's been rumored for almost a decade that Disney wants to switch to a paid service.

FastPass seems to be an overall failure in terms of guest satisfaction. It just makes things more complicated whereas a paid system would simplify things, and with guests having to plan individual days via Park Pass now, it makes it a very tough way to vacation if both Park Pass AND FastPass+ Reservations were both in place at one time.
 
Aug 1, 2018
1,194
Los Angeles
Fast pass was a double edged sword at DLR. many times it was great rewarding with many rides and other times they were like Kaiser Soze and like that there were gone for the day. But I am all for a express pass type service. It works incredibly well at USH. I have express on my pass and knowing I will be able to do everything I want each visit makes going to the park stress free. If Disney offered this I would jump on it. I would complain about paying Disney more money but at the end of the day it would make a visit to the parks so much more enjoyable.
 
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Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
...or you can add more capacity?
I mean, no one is necessarily saying they aren't. It's simply a rumor that I think won't come to pass about them looking to continue limited capacity since it's not really all that feasible (especially if it includes adding more VQs).
 
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Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,887
Orlando
Martin dropped a couple more hints: no "anytime" passes, and three tiers, possibly with a limited fourth free tier. Which just sounds like needlessly complicating what should be a simple system.
So there would be no version of the Express-type pass that you can buy for the whole day and use whenever you want?
 
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