Fastpass Getting Overhaul???

I have read a few articles about Disney making some changes to the existing Fastpass system.  The Fastpass is a system that allows visitors to get tickets to go to a ride at a later time without as much of a wait.

Well, I have just read that they are running tests on their new system…

Orlando Sentinel’s Theme Park Rangers
July 24, 2009

Disney currently is testing the concept of centralized FastPass station at Animal Kingdom. When I visited yesterday afternoon, there were six machines in operation in the area that once was the FastPass distribution area for It’s Tough to Be a Bug. Three attractions were available at two stations apiece. You could get passes for Dinosaur, Expedition Everest and the Kilimanjaro Safaris. You could still get FastPasses at those individual attractions as well.

Remember, this is a test and a work in progress. Certainly, signage would be better and it would be listed on guide maps were it to become reality.

Another bugaboo, to me, was that you could not tell what time you were going to get BEFORE you put your ticket into the machine or what the current wait time was at that attraction. (The cast member there was happy to tell me the times it was currently distrubting, but that’s labor-intensive.).

I liked that the machines were designated by logo of the attraction, although the Dino Institute design doesn’t scream DINOSAUR like the Everest or Safaris signs. And they were low to the ground and hard to see if someone were actually using the machine.

FastPass is confusing enough to newbies, and the cast members spent a lot of time there explaining how it works and how this test is working. Of course, there were people trying to get FastPasses for It’s a Bug’s Life there still.

I got a FastPass for Everest, and it told me to arrive at 12:40 p.m. I think walked over to Everest, which took five minutes or so, and the FastPasses there were being distributed for 12:55. Made sense.

I’m not a huge FastPass fan, though my fellow Rangers can’t live without it. What exactly Disney is testing for is not clear. However, a front-line cast member pal of mine is totally in favor of centralizing FastPass. He says he spends untold hours at the entrance explaining to guests how FP works (and measuring the height of kids, but that’s another problem, one that he wants to wristband kids for.).

What do you think about this change?  I personally like the old system.

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