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Hands On - FastPass+ for non-resort guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Discussion in 'Using MyMagic+, FastPass+ and My Disney Experience' started by ptaylor, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine when to DAK today and tried it out, they were able to get Safaris, Everest, and Dinosaur late in the day, they linked their party together through the kiosks, used their tickets, and it worked flawlessly for them.
     
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  2. Goofybynature

    Goofybynature Member

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    One thing I believe that is slowing down a lot of people down is that most people (including a few on here) are completely unaware that this whole system will only work as well as the user understands it, granted a lot of information from unofficial sites and users on it give severely wrong information. Its designed to be self sufficient from the kiosks to your phone. All of this requires effort, something I don't think people want to do. Most will skim through menus, not read them or just plain ignore them, screw things up, then expect Disney to automatically fix it for them. Prime example is that numerous times, APs have been asked not to use the system but they still do and are unhappy when they didn't get what they want.

    Also with the test going well today doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The system is far more complete then people on here give it credit for with only CM/AP left to work through. While it annoys the few, it pleases a lot more. Change isn't painful, resisting change is.
     
  3. Next Big Thing

    Next Big Thing Well-Known Member

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    ...There's a kiosk at Everest, so I don't see how that would affect said person. They would literally only go from getting the Legacy FP line to going into the FP+ kiosk line.
     
  4. sshindel

    sshindel (veggie x 2) + (fruit x 2) = Life Premium Member

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    I'll be honest here, and I know that my opinion is flavored by a lot of other factors that will differ from guest to guest, but for me, and for my family, the addition of FP+/MagicBand/My Disney Experience was a competitive advantage on our most recent trip. It actually made my entire vacation better. The whole app and WiFi were something that I sorely missed when I made my first trip ever over to IoA. The flexibility it provided to me to be able to book and swap FP+ while in standby line for another attraction was a huge benefit in my eyes.
    It can be confidently said that no one will book a trip specifically to use a MagicBand, as opposed to a Harry Potter section of the park lets say, but the entire package was such a value-add for my most recent trip, I'm much more likely to try and make sure I leverage the system as much as I can in the future because of the ease it afforded me. If they tweak the system to give bonus benefits to resort guests, it might convince me to book on-site instead of offsite, depending on the benefits given.
    Again, how this translates to the average guest, and specifically the off-site guest will remain to be seen (I was off-site for more than 1/2 of my trip, but since I started out at a Disney resort, I had access to the MagicBand for the full trip). I'm very interested to see how well the kiosks work, and if they'll extend the use of the App based FP+, as I think that is REALLY where they'll start to drive guest happiness.
     
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  5. razor58

    razor58 New Member

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    Now I've read that guests can get three FP+ for the "A" ticket rides at AK, but I thought I read many topics ago when booking your fastpasses for your vacation you were limited to one "A" ticket ride. Did this recently change, or just for AK? So at DHS I can get FP+ for Toy Story and Rock-n-Rollin Coaster, or just one of those and two lesser rides?
     
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  6. MNRMommy

    MNRMommy New Member

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    They only have those limitations at HS and Epcot as of now. No tiering at AK yet.
     
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  7. MrPromey

    MrPromey Well-Known Member

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    The problem for us trying to figure this all out or predict results is we don't have much info on what is actually going on. We are like ancient people trying to predict the weather with only our ability to look at the sky to interpret the patterns. Disney on the other hand, has over a decade of data on fast pass usage to start off with. It's a safe bet that going into this, they are more prepared than most of us think.

    Putting that aside and considering the data they'll collect, it's also a safe bet the new system will become extremely efficient over time. When they know how long it typically takes to get from the front of the park to an attraction, they can predict when a person who made reservations for the day but say, left the park for lunch (which the bands can tell them) won't be back in time for a FP+ and clear that usage for someone else. Heck, if you are on property and the bands detect you in another park in line for an attraction with an hour wait two hours before your FP+ window is up, they may be able to re-use your slot at that point. I'd imagine the system would be conservative enough to allow for the rare handful of people that defy the averages and run at full speed to get to stuff. To that end, I'd think the current FP system over-books tickets based on numbers Disney knows about what percentage of people who get FP tickets end up not redeeming them, already and we just don't know about it.

    As they find new data points to examine, they'll be able to tweak this system far more than they ever could the old one. After the first six months of usage, their model for traffic patterns will be fairly reliable. A year in, it'll be even better. Five years in? (if not sooner) They'll be using this system to predict staffing needs for the Emporium on Main Street in late afternoon on the first Tuesday of the month because this system will allow them to track even the people without armbands by being able to predict what parts of the park a good number of guests will be in at given times and who has time to kill based on where they are with their current reservation, where they have to go for their next one and how much time they have between the two.they will eventually saves nod make money off this system in ways we can't even begin to comprehend... Being able to steer large percentages of people away from certain attractions, shops, restaurants, and restrooms during certain times of day in slow periods so they can cut down on staffing, for instance by placing people with reservations in other parts of the park. Nothing is 100% but if they can get even low percentages to follow the predicted patterns, it could have a major impact.

    Of course, some won't stick to schedule and will loose their reservations and throw some of that planning off. It already happens today so of course Disney knows it will happen in the future. But the more live experience they get with the system, the smarter it will get at predicting and preparing for that, too - it's just logistics... All I'm worried about is the day FP+ becomes self aware and the animatronics revolt. Who would have guessed Skynet would start in a theme park? ;)

    As for off property guests being able to book in advance, the problem I see there is how does Disney know who you are? How do they even know you really plan to be there the day you try to get your FP+ for? With people staying on property, you've booked your stay so they know you will be there the day you make your reservations for. You are in their system and the bands you get are already linked to the account you booked your FP+ through when you get them.

    The same will be the case in the future for APs - you'll already be in their system linked to your card/band and even though they don't know for sure you'll be there when you say you will, they at least know you can be since you have a ticket in-hand good for that day... But off property, do you even have tickets 90 days in advance? If so, how do they link your account to those tickets? I guess there could be a process where you create online accounts and look at tickets to enter serial numbers but I don't see most people bothering. If not linked to tickets in advance, how do they know John Doe that registers on their site and booked FP+ even plans to come the day they are doing this for? If they come, how do they quickly link up the tickets he bought that day to the FP+ reservations he made months ago? People complain about the reservation system for restaurants being bad. Imagine how hard it would be to predict anything if people could abuse this like that and steal times for attractions at parks they don't have tickets for and probably won't even be visiting on the dates they make reservations for.

    My guess would be that even if they ever did roll this out to "everyone else", it would require them to have tickets in-hand at the time of setting up the FP+ which I would imagine most people not staying on property and not having annual or seasonal passes don't do (but I could be totally wrong). Otherwise, why does every hotel in the Orlando area have places selling park tickets?

    Really if you aren't staying on property, why would you buy tickets in advance of your travel? I'm sure some people do but I don't know what the benefit currently would be besides avoiding the lines that may or may not exist at the park entrances and if you're that concerned with planning for convenience, it seems you might already be someone who wants to stay on property, anyway, right?
     
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  8. biggy H

    biggy H Active Member

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    The only real way to make this work is that you have to have tickets already registered and you could only book FP+ for the number of days that you actually have days on the ticket. So a 5 day ticket will only allow you to book FP+ for 5 days only. For tickets that expire a certain number of days after first use you can only book FP+ during that time scale from your first FP+ day.
     
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  9. dreamfinder

    dreamfinder Well-Known Member

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    Which is basically how the current booking works via MDE. Even if you have an onsite reservation, until you link valid admission media to your MDE account, you cannot book FP+. And you cannot book more days than you have valid admissions.
     
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  10. ParentsOf4

    ParentsOf4 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to WDWMagic.com with your first post!

    What you describe is generally referred to as "tiered" FP+ selections. The process itself is "tiering".

    The idea is that some attractions have limited ride capacity. They can only handle so many guests in a day. If everyone was allowed to pick those rides, then FP+ availability would run out quickly. As a result, guests are forced to pick between 2 popular attractions.

    Currently, tiering is happening at Epcot and DHS, primarily because Soarin' and Test Track (at Epcot) and Toy Story Mania (at DHS) are extremely popular but have relatively low ride capacities. They simply don't have enough space for all guests on a given day.

    Tiering demonstrates that WDW really needs to add some good rides at some of its theme parks.

    The Magic Kingdom is good. It has lots of popular rides. FP+ should work just fine there. It's the other 3 parks that could use help.

    The problem isn't too bad at DAK because its most popular attractions are very high capacity rides, among WDW's highest. With the announced opening of an Avatar-based land in a few years with a couple of additional rides, DAK should be OK as well.

    Right now, there are no publically announced plans to improve Epcot or DHS. These parks desperately need additional popular high-capacity attractions.

    If WDW had enough popular rides, then it should be capable of offering at least 3 meaningful FP+ selections to all of its guests, certainly to its onsite guests. (Universal, for example, offers the equivalent of unlimited Fast Passes to its onsite guests all day long.)

    Currently, many of the FP+ selections being offered are for rides that normally have very short lines. FP+ doesn't really provide any value for these rides but Disney needs to offer them anyway because they don't have enough good rides.

    WDW's problem is that it now has over 28,000 hotel and DVC rooms.

    WDW has overbuilt its hotels and timeshares while the number of attractions has not kept pace.

    For example, since the opening of DAK in 1998, WDW has added over 10,000 rooms. Most of the attractions added since then were replacements. Something got closed and replaced by something else.

    In the last 15 years, WDW had added relatively little ride capacity but added over 10,000 rooms.

    WDW needs to build more rides.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  11. doctornick

    doctornick Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to have this repeated.
     
  12. ParentsOf4

    ParentsOf4 Well-Known Member

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    Buying tickets in advance means one less line to stand in. There are thousands every day staying offsite who have purchased their tickets in advance. They have planned a WDW vacation and simply don’t want to pay WDW’s resort prices. They have every intention of using their WDW tickets.

    Offsite guests could register on My Disney Experience (MDE) and link their tickets to their accounts. (Look, more data for Disney to collect!) Buy a 7-day ticket, get 7 days of FP+ selections. (Same as onsite guests.) Fail to show up for that day or cancel (let’s say 24 hours before), then lose a day of FP+ selections. Your ticket will still be good for park entrance but you’ll have one less day of FP+ availability.

    The question is: how far in advance should offsite guests be able to book their FP+ selections? Every day of advanced booking that Disney provides to them is one day less that Disney’s (valuable) onsite guests get to make their selections. For business reasons, Disney wants MM+ to appear more valuable when staying onsite, giving customers more reason to pay WDW's resort prices and stay onsite.

    WDW always will have “day of” guests; guests who didn’t plan ahead and who arrive at the gate and buy tickets. WDW needs to have a procedure for them. The FP+ kiosk procedure for offsite guests currently being tested at DAK would apply to them.

    However, to relieve demand for FP+ kiosk usage, there is something to be said for Disney offering offsite guests limited ability to book their FP+ selections in advance.

    It really depends on how efficient Disney can make FP+ kiosk usage. If guests plan ahead, know the rides they want, know the times they want, and those rides and times are available, then FP+ kiosk usage can be fairly efficient with the aid of a CM.

    If not, then long lines could form at FP+ kiosks. Even worse, those standing in line could find out that by the time it was their turn, the FP+ selections they wanted were no longer available. It could lead to a lot of disappointed guests.

    Offering offsite guests FP+ selections in advance has another disadvantage for Disney. Offsite guests that can't get the FP+ selections they want might not bother coming to the parks at all.

    However, guests are pretty savvy today with the Internet. If, for example, word gets out that offsite guests are not getting FP+ selections for EE using the current system being tested at DAK, then some offsite guests might simply skip that park anyway.

    How does WDW keep its onsite guests happy while not driving away offsite guests?

    WDW really needs to clone some low-capacity attractions (such as TSM and Soarin') and build more rides so that everyone feels they are getting at least a couple of good FP+ selections. Onsite guests will get first shot at the best attractions and times but offsite guests will get something that they value.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
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  13. Buried20KLeague

    Buried20KLeague Premium Member

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    The off site thing wouldn't be complicated at all, if they really wanted to fix it. All they would have to do is start selling their admission tickets good for specific days. Tokyo Disney already does this. I buy a 4 day ticket 90 days out that is good for March 10-13, and then I can book FP at 60 just like everyone else. It's A simple solution that gives everyone the same access at the same time.

    But that wouldn't help them sell hotel rooms now, would it...
     
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  14. flyerjab

    flyerjab Turned 40 and my warranty expired... Premium Member

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    Parentsof4, I always enjoy your posts. They are extremely factual, well thought out but never arrogant. I am curious of one thing that I would love to hear your opinion on. I think everyone would agree that WDW needs to build more rides/attractions in at least 3 of their 4 parks. You seem to be so good with numbers, how many rides (and of what caliber) do you think the 3 parks would need to make up for the surge of onsite guest capacity over the past decade? We already know that Avatar is coming to DAK. I think it could be safe to assume that Star Wars will show up at some point in DHS (I believe a certain Spirit indicated that these plans are still moving forward). Would that be enough for those 2 parks? I haven't heard any plans/rumors about EPCOT other than removing rides/attractions (Imagination).

    One other thing I was wondering since I am only a 4 year rookie to the world of WDW. Are the 2 water parks included in any of the MDE plans? I have only been to Typhoon Lagoon once and never to Blizzard Beach. I believe I am correct in assuming that there is no FP system in place for those 2 parks, correct? They never seem to be discussed very much so I was wondering how they fit into any of this.
     
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  15. dreamfinder

    dreamfinder Well-Known Member

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    Neither has FP of any sort now. Paper tickets and water don't work real well together. Also, even if they wanted to, most of the queues aren't even close to being setup for 2 lines, and really can't be without serious work. I don't forsee them needing/wanting to add FP+ at the water parks.
     
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  16. flyerjab

    flyerjab Turned 40 and my warranty expired... Premium Member

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    Aren't the magic bands magical…er, I mean, waterproof? ;)
     
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  17. doctornick

    doctornick Well-Known Member

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    In terms of Epcot, the only "addition" I've heard rumored was Martin mentioning that they have plans for a Japan dark ride which they'd be happy to move forward with if there were a sponsor willing to pay for it. Other potentially changes to attractions seem to be replacements at best -- stuff like Captain Eo, Imagination and WoE, though it's always possible those could be given the WoL treatment instead. Oh, and in terms of capacity increases, people have mentioned that adding another theater to Soarin' is in the works; not a new ride but would add to how many people can ride it in a day.

    I'm not Po4, but IMHO the Avatar stuff sounds like a step in the right direction in terms of rides (especially if the boat rides is present and is a family friendly/all ages type ride). But, no, two additions isn't "enough" for a full slate of rides for that park. They probably need another 2-4 rides in addition to the Avatar stuff. And it doesn't have to be E-tickets really, but more C- and D-tickets, just to give people more stuff to do. I've advocated before adding stuff like the flat rides from A Bug's Land in DCA or a two tiered carousel as cheeap options to increase the ride count, though ideally the park could add some Fantasyland style dark rides for reasonable costs and quickly.

    Whether or not the Star Wars expansion -- whenever that happens -- at DHS is "enough" would depend on the specifics. If it adds 3 rides and some other attractions (Jedi show, Millenium Falcon walk through), it would probably make a big difference. If it only adds 1 ride, then not so much. It's another park that needs more family friendly/no height restriction rides so that young kids and non-thrill seekers have more to do (a big part of why TSMM's line is always so long). Personally, I think they need to put in at least 1 ride in Pixar Place -- Soundstage 1 is just sitting there essentially empty in a prime location -- no matter what happens with Star Wars. If they end up tearing up LMA or Backlot Tour, they should be able to build multiple Pixar rides in that space, whether it is a full Cars Land or not.

    Edit: FWIW, the best information I hae seen in regards to Star Wars expansion seem to indicate the following attractions are on the table: Speeder Bike coaster, indoor Jedi training academy/show, some sort of family friendly ride (an X-wing spinner has been mentioned, just sure if that is just a joke), a Millenium Falcon walk through with Chewbacca M&G, an Ewok village (kids play area or M&G?) attached to the Speeder Bike ride. Most of these were mentioned in regards to DL, but it's likely that they would be largely cloned between resorts. Plus Mos Eisley cantina for food, which may have some sort of show element to it. Also, there was specific talk that there are waiting for the script for the new movie to be finalized so they could base attractions or parts of an attraction on scenes from that.

    Bascially, I would argue that both DHS and DAK need about 4-6 more rides each, with one being an "E-ticket" and the rest being fine being just things to round of the options. Epcot needs at least another E-ticket for the FP+ demand/tiering and it would help to have another ride or two as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
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  18. RivieraJenn

    RivieraJenn Well-Known Member

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    I am sure I missed this somewhere in the discussion, but does the system "force" you to take three FP+s? If you only wanted the FP+ for, say, Test Track, is it going to automatically throw you FP+s for Maelstrom and Living with the Land? If so, it seems like everyone skipping those meaningless reservations for attractions with short lines might force WDW to quickly tweak their system--or at least recognize there is a problem. If no one is showing up where and when Disney expects them, their big-bucks system won't be serving its purpose. (And let's be clear there, the purpose isn't "improving guest experience" but rather "collecting data and using it to manipulate crowds/cut costs.")
     
  19. dreamfinder

    dreamfinder Well-Known Member

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    They are, so they could hypothetically add it, but as I said, most of the queues don't work well with 2 lines. Not to mention with a few exceptions (Summit Plummit and the Chair Lift at BB come to mind) I can't recall waiting more than 15 mins for most attractions. I do wonder how many lost MBs are fished out of the wave pool and lazy rivers each day.

    They do automatically fill your 3 slots with other attractions. Disney is hoping that a) people don't know that they don't need a FP+ for Living With The Land and take it and b) that people use the FP+ for those rides they get auto assigned because hey, I got it, lets use it. Remember how many people are actually active on the bigger WDW forums, and how many more guests WDW gets each year. For instance, WDWMagic has something around 94,000 accounts created over it's lifetime (since 1996), which is most likely less than attend WDW on any given day. And even the other big board has less than 500,000 members. The number of people who have no idea some rides don't need FP+ has to be mindboggling. Us hardcore planners and WDW junkies make up a fraction of their yearly visitors.
     
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  20. flyerjab

    flyerjab Turned 40 and my warranty expired... Premium Member

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    So, as far as DAK is concerned, there will be the Soarin' over Pandora large capacity E-Ticket and the boat ride. What you are stating is that there will also be a need for at least 2-4 additional rides on top of that, but not necessarily E-Ticket caliber. I am assuming that you don't mean things like turning the safari into a nighttime ride, or adding the nighttime show. These would not count as additional rides. I guess that more attractions to DAK won't be happening beyond Avatar. Would the interactive nature of the Avatar Land be considered an "attraction" the way that Joe Rhode has hinted at?
     
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