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Old 10-19-2012, 06:12 AM   #16
pilferk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyanchor View Post
I really don't think it's going to actually work out the way people are predicting. That's just inconceivable... WDW would upset thousands, maybe millions by requiring them to schedule the rides they want months in advance. Surely it is going to be a pretty small percentage of guests who actually utilize the FP+ in that way. Also, are you going to have to have already purchased your ticket(s) for the days you are scheduling? If so, I'd say that the numbers of FP+ users will drop even further; if not, there will be a lot of people who probably won't even show for the days/times they have scheduled.
Maybe.

But people said largely the same things concerning Disney's restructured ADR system, which allowed ADR's 180 days in advance.

If there's one thing Disney has learned...it's there's enough "obsessive" planners (and I count myself amongst them) to support these types of systems. Witness how quickly hard to get ADR's disappear at 180 days. Witness how quickly special events, able to be booked at 180 days, book up.

The demand is obviously there for this type of system for OTHER things. And if you're only offering a set number of FP's, amongst a few different categories of experiences...I think you'll find people are willing to buy in (figuratively, though maybe literally as well).
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bom_noite View Post
Zero inside info, but, agree with this assessment to some extent.

Putting the business hat on I would think they are going the way of many theme parks: Pay a increased Ticket Price, Stay on-site, eat at my restaurants, buy my merchandise and you get a perk! The real question: Why did it take them this long to figure out?

My daughter and I went to a local Six Flags park 7 years ago, and, I paid 20% to 30% more for 2 "Fast Pass Tix" for the entire day! Totally worth it - we spent zero time in lines. So, why is anyone shocked?

Disney, IMHO, is way behind the times on this option and is spending KaBillions (from what I have read on-line to create a new FP system) to catch up. Not a surprise to me!

My thoughts:
  • Not sure they would limit it to only Tix WDW sells. Could be wrong though. Who cares who sold the ticket? The true money is getting folks staying on Disney property and not at rival hotels.
  • Totally disagree with the UT theory. I have always believed that UT / AAA / Walmart / other re-sellers make nothing on selling WDW Tix. It gets you in the store, a membership perk, or, gives them an option to sell you tickets to the "Ye Olde Joust Fest Dinner & Pudding Extravaganza" in Kissimmee! Disney's price is Disney's price! I doubt they give anyone company a discounted price! Why? They don't have to!
  • I believe Universal started this 5 or 6 years ago?
  • I would guess this would be included in a AP. But, they would then raise AP Prices.
  • There is no reason they could not offer this upgraded feature to those staying off-site, for an upgraded Ticket Price / Fee!

Follow the money trail! A cheap way to make money.

Look, I have no clue - but - this makes sense to me.
I would love it to be something guests have to pay extra for, rather than avaliable to everyone and included in a base ticket. I would totally pay quite a bit more to cut down on wait time.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:02 PM   #18
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Confirmation comes from the unlikeliess of places.

If you go to the following link at Micechat
http://micechat.com/14215-disney-fantasyland-expansion/

There's a ton of pictures of the new Fantasyland Expansion, right at the bottom of the magic kingdom seciton, there's a picture of the Fastpass return time sign for the Great Goofini that says on it "Fastpass+ Entrance". I guess that's confirmation of what its going to be called, right?

Here's a link to the image, whichI figured out how to do!

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Old 10-19-2012, 04:00 PM   #19
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I wonder if this will be in operation by April
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #20
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FP+ has been in testing mode for the past several months. Here's a look at how it works:

Testing the Next Generation in Disney FastPasses
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
Maybe.

But people said largely the same things concerning Disney's restructured ADR system, which allowed ADR's 180 days in advance.

If there's one thing Disney has learned...it's there's enough "obsessive" planners (and I count myself amongst them) to support these types of systems. Witness how quickly hard to get ADR's disappear at 180 days. Witness how quickly special events, able to be booked at 180 days, book up.

The demand is obviously there for this type of system for OTHER things. And if you're only offering a set number of FP's, amongst a few different categories of experiences...I think you'll find people are willing to buy in (figuratively, though maybe literally as well).

I can see were you are going. Working FPs most effectively takes Disney knowledge. If "they" can schedule "us" in advance than Dis can hope to minimize the TSM and Soarin stampedes and staff CMs in the most cost efficient way. My concern is that bundling a headliner with pedestrian attractions will put even more emphasis on "us" to hit RD to ride the headliners standby first thing. Maybe that works as "us" will be done with the headliners' standby lines by 11am when the the masses arrive.

If Disney doesn't handle this right they risk pissing off the very people who they target with PIN codes to fill the parks during slow times. Maybe Dis is assuming those people are loyal to a fault.

Last edited by Q-man; 10-21-2012 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rustyanchor View Post
I really don't think it's going to actually work out the way people are predicting. That's just inconceivable... WDW would upset thousands, maybe millions by requiring them to schedule the rides they want months in advance. Surely it is going to be a pretty small percentage of guests who actually utilize the FP+ in that way. Also, are you going to have to have already purchased your ticket(s) for the days you are scheduling? If so, I'd say that the numbers of FP+ users will drop even further; if not, there will be a lot of people who probably won't even show for the days/times they have scheduled.
This is purely my own speculation but I think there will be two parts to FP+:

1) Reserving days or months in advance. As in the tests, it will be limited to just a few attractions per park and only to those staying on-site.

2) The other part is basically in-park FP as we've always known it, but probably a paperless system where folks can reserve a FP time via their smartphone or iPod touch (thanks to free in-park wifi.) If you want to ride Space Mountain, you pull it up on the handy My Disney Experience app. It tells you the next available return time (say 10:50a - 11:50a). If that's acceptable, you hit the button and your electronic FP is transmitted to the RFID wristband or KTTW card. Gone are the days of criss-crossing the park to check return times or get paper tickets.

Some manual / paper alternative of #2 will probably also be offered, but it won't be nearly as convenient as the paperless system.

I just don't see how Disney could ever eliminate the FP system people have grown to love over the last 15 years. Introducing a system were you ONLY get FP benefits if you are staying on-site AND you must schedule them months ahead of time--AND you only get a couple of FPs per day--would just be suicidal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilferk View Post
But people said largely the same things concerning Disney's restructured ADR system, which allowed ADR's 180 days in advance.

If there's one thing Disney has learned...it's there's enough "obsessive" planners (and I count myself amongst them) to support these types of systems. Witness how quickly hard to get ADR's disappear at 180 days. Witness how quickly special events, able to be booked at 180 days, book up.
Not sure that's a great comparison. If people can't get a dinner reservation for Le Cellier or a fireworks cruise, it doesn't really make-or-break a trip.

Taking away FASTPASS benefits for millions of locals and off-site guests is a huge change which would negatively impact the quality of their vacations. Not to mention the people staying on site who just don't want to plan that far in advance.

Picking one day to eat at a favorite restaurant isn't a terrible inconvenience. You can structure a trip around one or two meals.

Trying to pick which park you wish to visit every day of your stay--months in advance--is a much greater inconvenience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by *NikkiBell* View Post
FP+ has been in testing mode for the past several months. Here's a look at how it works:

Testing the Next Generation in Disney FastPasses
In the interest of full disclosure, all that does is tell us the limited-scale FP+ product Disney has been testing. We have no idea which elements of that test scenario will make it into the finished product.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
This is purely my own speculation but I think there will be two parts to FP+:

1) Reserving days or months in advance. As in the tests, it will be limited to just a few attractions per park and only to those staying on-site.

2) The other part is basically in-park FP as we've always known it, but probably a paperless system where folks can reserve a FP time via their smartphone or iPod touch (thanks to free in-park wifi.) If you want to ride Space Mountain, you pull it up on the handy My Disney Experience app. It tells you the next available return time (say 10:50a - 11:50a). If that's acceptable, you hit the button and your electronic FP is transmitted to the RFID wristband or KTTW card. Gone are the days of criss-crossing the park to check return times or get paper tickets.

Some manual / paper alternative of #2 will probably also be offered, but it won't be nearly as convenient as the paperless system.

I just don't see how Disney could ever eliminate the FP system people have grown to love over the last 15 years. Introducing a system were you ONLY get FP benefits if you are staying on-site AND you must schedule them months ahead of time--AND you only get a couple of FPs per day--would just be suicidal.

Not sure that's a great comparison. If people can't get a dinner reservation for Le Cellier or a fireworks cruise, it doesn't really make-or-break a trip.

Taking away FASTPASS benefits for millions of locals and off-site guests is a huge change which would negatively impact the quality of their vacations. Not to mention the people staying on site who just don't want to plan that far in advance.

Picking one day to eat at a favorite restaurant isn't a terrible inconvenience. You can structure a trip around one or two meals.

Trying to pick which park you wish to visit every day of your stay--months in advance--is a much greater inconvenience.

In the interest of full disclosure, all that does is tell us the limited-scale FP+ product Disney has been testing. We have no idea which elements of that test scenario will make it into the finished product.

I think you bring up some extremely good points - well thought out! On the other hand, with regards to your "Suicidal" comment:
  • I believe (though I am not 100% certain) the only way you get a day long "fast pass" type of thing at Universal is by staying at there hotels. Please correct me if I am wrong!
  • As I stated in a previous post - Six Flags is 5 - 7 years on the Pay Extra for daily / yearly Fast Pass concept.
  • I believe WDW is way behind this concept. And, they are itching to catch up.
  • WDW is way behind the times on this concept and itching to catch up "Disney Style"

What I firmly believe is the best perks will go to those that choose to stay within Disney Proper or choose to get AP's. I agree that there will be some FP option for those that do not - but - it will be watered down.

Suicidal? - I am not sure I agree. I contemplated a Universal Package a few years back that came with Fast Pass for staying at one of their hotels - and - which to my knowledge was not available any other way (though I could be wrong!). Six Flags has been offering Fast Pass for the day Tickets for over 5 years - at a premium price. Obviously Universal and Six Flags did not see it as a suicidal option.

I think WDW is way behind the times on this option. And, they may be asking the question: How much are you worth to me if you stay off-site, eat at Burger King, Chili's or Red Lobster and go to Sea World on Wednesday?

We all know that the FREE Magical Express option was not a benevolent thing - it was to get folks on to property without a car that could be used to travel to Universal and eat off-site!

While this may be good for WDW - I am not sure I agree with the practice. I meet and talk to ton's of folks that cannot afford WDW Hotel and Food prices and stay off-site. They are as a big a fan as I am - but - may be screwed in the process. And, if this is the way it go's - I feel very sorry for them!

Last edited by bom_noite; 10-22-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:55 AM   #24
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I tested fastpass+ in September and some of the questions on the survey they sent after I got home could be clues to their intentions for the system.

The ones I remember/stick out to me are:

- Did you use a smartphone to keep track of your fastpasses?

- Was 4 a good amount of fastpasses? How many would you want in a day?

- Did you like being able to schedule your fastpasses early?

- Were you able to use all 4 of the fastpasses?
And my answer was no, we only used three. People don't spend an entire day in one park. Picking one of the four itinerary choices which each spread the use of the four fastpasses out from morning to night just isn't flexible enough.

and most importantly:

- Would you buy tickets through Disney in order to use this feature? Obviously pointing to FP+ being a feature of park tickets purchases through Disney (possibly as an add on like park hopper or water parks and more) or just comes as a feature that wouldn't be offered to tickets from discounted retailers.

I will say I liked using the system for the benefit of not tracking back and forth across the park to get a paper ticket and then return later to ride. I would pay more for the FP+ feature just to be able to do that. I'm not crazy about planning my park touring out so far in advanced. Which reminds me they also asked:

- How far in advanced would you prefer to schedule your FP+? With options of 180 days, 60 days, 30 days, etc. I picked 30 because by that time I pretty much have my plans scheduled and will know what day I'm spending at each park and can then schedule rides for that day.

I'll be back December 10th and am hoping something for FP+ is running by then... somehow, although I doubt it .
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:36 AM   #25
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It should be interesting to see the clamor of ressies happening when they first announce.... as I imagine that the first little while it will be added to existing ressies instead of new ones. That many people all making reservations at the same time it will be interesting to see what fills first and how the system handles it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:41 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bom_noite View Post
believe (though I am not 100% certain) the only way you get a day long "fast pass" type of thing at Universal is by staying at there hotels. Please correct me if I am wrong!

As I stated in a previous post - Six Flags is 5 - 7 years on the Pay Extra for daily / yearly Fast Pass concept.
That is correct, and US + Six Flags are not the only ones with their own pay-for-play FP variant. However none of the others limit guests to just 4 front-of-the-line rides per day, nor do they force guests to commit to those attractions and return times MONTHS in advance.

Quote:
I believe WDW is way behind this concept. And, they are itching to catch up.

WDW is way behind the times on this concept and itching to catch up "Disney Style"
Agree. And there's a lot to like about an advance reservation system...but not at the expense of the FP system millions of guests have come to appreciate over the years.

Quote:
Suicidal? - I am not sure I agree. I contemplated a Universal Package a few years back that came with Fast Pass for staying at one of their hotels - and - which to my knowledge was not available any other way (though I could be wrong!). Six Flags has been offering Fast Pass for the day Tickets for over 5 years - at a premium price. Obviously Universal and Six Flags did not see it as a suicidal option.
Bear in mind that my "suicidal" comment specifically addressed the possibility of removing ALL FP options other than the pre-arrival FP+. With that said, a couple points:

1) Universal has far fewer hotels--2500 vs nearly 30,000 at WDW (not including Dolphin, Swan and DTD area resorts.) Offering FOTL privileges to some at USF doesn't dramatically alter the wait times of others waiting in the full queue.

2) At WDW, we're talking about TAKING AWAY a cherished benefit--presumably from a large group of people (non Dis hotel guests, 3rd party ticket buyers, etc.)

3) There are many people who already pay top dollar for Disney hotels who have no interest in planning their attraction visits weeks or months ahead of time. Again, Disney would be taking away from them.

4) FP+ tests have allowed guests to get up to 4 PFs per day. Under the current ticketed system, I could get 10 FASTPASSES in a day if I wish. Right now, it's well within my rights to get FPs for all three mountains, Buzz, Peter Pan, Jungle Cruise and more. But the new system has me picking only 4--from specially constructed lists--leaving me in the standby queue much more often.

And my 4 FP+ tickets are only useful assuming that my plans don't change, I get to the park on time, I don't end up touring in a conflicting manner, etc.

IMO, Disney's ultimate endgame is to offer another exclusive hotel perk to goose occupancy and raise room rates (most likely, less discounting.) But if they limit FP+ to pre-reserved hotel guests, I cannot envision Disney adding enough revenue to offset the losses from folks who are completely put-off by what has been taken away. It would be a PR nightmare.

All of that illustrates why I think the two systems will run in tandem. Hotel guests can pre-book before arrival while everyone will still be able to get FP return times after entering the park. There's really no reason NOT to do it this way. The FP+ advance reservation component is a significant value-added for hotel guests (who wish to use it.) Meanwhile the advance reservations leave fewer return slots for non hotel guests without completely relegating them to Standby.

(As a footnote, I'll add that one of the theories I've heard is that Disney is adding all of these virtual queue elements to attractions because they want a way to entertain larger Standby crowds. That particular theory does lend some credence to the idea that FP+ will be available for advance ride reservations only. But I have a hard time accepting that Disney could arrogantly remove FP access from millions of guests and not suffer any blowback. I'm something of a Type A planner and would have no problem selecting a few FP+ reservation times prior to arrival. But the idea of standing in 45-60 minute lines...during slower seasons...does not appeal to me at all.)
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #27
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I think the question about "will they take away the current FP usage system" can be answer in the name they chose itself - Fastpass+.

I would guess that they will continue to have an existing FP system where someone comes into the park in the morning can continue to get FP throughout the day. What would happen is there will be less of them available, as a portion will be reserved for the FP+ users.

The "+" in the Fastpass+ will be:
1) The ability to access and possibly obtain FPs via your mobile device.
2) The ability to reserve FPs for use later in the day.

A PP mention not being able to use all their FP because they like to hop. I would expect at a point that you would be able to reserve your at-home FP across different parks. In other words, you could book Splash Mountain in the morning, and Illuminations in the evening. Though it's possible that this won't go into effect with the initial rollout.

I do wonder how they are going to estimate the # of unused FP+ perks. I would guess there will be a pretty good percent (at least 25%) of FP+ that don't get used. A majority of people don't plan their trips out to the point that this would indicate. And even those of us that are planners run into issues on the fly.

I myself would use these perks primarily for reserving the spots for parades and shows, since we go at slow times of year. If this frees me up having to sit for 90 minutes holding a spot for the parade, that's better than any FP line it would cut out. In addition, DD9 and DW don't like thrill rides, so the # of rides we really need FPs for are pretty limited.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:58 AM   #28
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I can see were you are going. Working FPs most effectively takes Disney knowledge. If "they" can schedule "us" in advance than Dis can hope to minimize the TSM and Soarin stampedes and staff CMs in the most cost efficient way. My concern is that bundling a headliner with pedestrian attractions will put even more emphasis on "us" to hit RD to ride the headliners standby first thing. Maybe that works as "us" will be done with the headliners' standby lines by 11am when the the masses arrive.

If Disney doesn't handle this right they risk pissing off the very people who they target with PIN codes to fill the parks during slow times. Maybe Dis is assuming those people are loyal to a fault.
The thing is..the slower it is, the less benefit FP+ has..and the less effect it will have on standby customers. Same is true of the ADR system...it's much more "necessary" to make your ADR's early around, say, X-mas and Easter times than it is in, say, late October/early November (usually). While you will still see restaurants "sell out" via ADR...it usually happens at a slower pace. And, other than places like Ohana and CRT, you can find ADR's "off-peak" relatively close to your travel times during the "slower times" of the year.

I suspect you'll see similarities in the Fastpass+ trends. During busy times..they'll make a HUGE difference in how much you see and how quickly. In slower times, they'll be nice for the obsessive types (like me), but will probably not have a whole HUGE effect on "you".

AND, assuming they don't actually increase the number of FP's handed out (ie: If there were 5000 FP for TSM under the "old" system..there would still be 5000 FP for TSM under FP+...it would just be that some portion of them were allocated as FP+, and some portion would be allocated to "day of) for a specific headliner...it shouldn't have TOO much of an effect on the standby lines for those rides.

It would have a much larger effect, you'd think. on the C and D ticket type rides. Meaning..people who might normally skip those rides, altogether, will ride them simply because they were part of the FP+ package. Again, you can see this with ADRs and the DDP. You saw a DRASTIC increase in TS usage with the advent of the DDP..because now people were entitled to a TS meal, so they used it when they might not have.

And the "unique experiences" (aka special seating for Illuminations or FP+ only M&G's).
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:20 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
Not sure that's a great comparison. If people can't get a dinner reservation for Le Cellier or a fireworks cruise, it doesn't really make-or-break a trip.

Taking away FASTPASS benefits for millions of locals and off-site guests is a huge change which would negatively impact the quality of their vacations. Not to mention the people staying on site who just don't want to plan that far in advance.

Picking one day to eat at a favorite restaurant isn't a terrible inconvenience. You can structure a trip around one or two meals.

Trying to pick which park you wish to visit every day of your stay--months in advance--is a much greater inconvenience.
1) I'm not suggesting FP, in it's current format, would completely disappear. It might..but I'd be surprised. I'd think there will more likely be some combination of the new FP+ features, along with the existing FP system...with maybe some changes in medium (paperless). So the existing version (+ or - some features and access to special event type things) would still be available to day guests of the resort. There might be FEWER "standard FP's" than there are now, but they'll exist. They likely won't have access to things like the specialized M&G's or the "special" Illuminations seating. But they'll have the "basic" version...as they do now. My comments were really directed toward the "new features" portion of FP+ (note the last sentence in the post you originally quoted).

2) Disney has shown, with other things, they're not too worried about forcing people who don't WANT to plan...to have to plan. If they can increase their overall operational efficiency by enough..I suspect they'd be willing to do the same, here.

3) And yet...there are plenty of people who do just that. Make all their ADR's at 180 days for their entire trip (or ten days of it, at least)..and then "tweak" as they get closer if they need to. And Disney has not changed that system, or their system for booking special events (Hoop De Doo seats, etc) in quite awhile. If you look at the way Disney has operationalized things in the past 20 years, up to and including the DDP, I think it's far more likely they adopt a similar "bent" than not.
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Last edited by pilferk; 10-22-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:50 AM   #30
ctl
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When will this role out?

If WDW is announcing something like this Dec 6, then when would it start? 180 days out from Dec 6 is June 4, 2013. 90 days from Dec 6 is March 6, just before Spring Break. I suppose I'll get used to it, but I would think it would cut down on people buying Park Hoppers, if they have to stick around for FP+.
I like a little more spontaneity.
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