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Defunctland deep dive on Fastpass


Well-Known Member
I'm 40 minutes in and found these points interesting...

  • Eisner's reaction to too few attractions at MGM: Build more attractions.
  • They knew full-well that they didn't have enough attractions for FP+, but implemented it anyways.
  • The *hope* was that FP+ would improve guest experience and encourage return trips and good word-of-mouth.
Apparently those return trips/good word of mouth wasn't worth very much...because now they're both being tossed out the window in favor of short-term gains.


Well-Known Member
OK watched the whole thing and have a couple minor point and one big one:

Minor points:

- Country Bear Jamboree was actually popular in 1971, and not just because it was labeled an "E" ticket. That's why the show got two theaters for Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. It was assumed it would be just as much so in those parks (which turned out not to be the case in California). The Mickey Mouse Revue, also an E-ticket upon opening, never was as much. That's why it got demoted to a D ticket and closed after 9 years. The opposite happened with Hall of Presidents. It got upgraded to an E in response to demand.

- A minor nitpick: Per Martin's video, 20,000 Leagues was intended to operate up to 1,900 an hour with 9 subs, but could never hit that due to the time it took to load/unload the subs. The point in the video about capacity not meeting demand remains true.

BIG point:

- In the solutions section, it's never suggested to add minor attractions to help spread out demand and increase overall park capacity without significantly inflating overall park attendance. This is what Euro Disneyland did prior to opening. There was concern that there wasn't going to be enough rides, so a project was greenlit to increase park capacity by something like 10,000 people an hour by building several smaller rides that would open within 2 years of the park. That's how we got the Indiana Jones coaster, the Casey Jr. Train, Storybookland boats, Nautilus walkthrough, Old Mill Ferris wheel etc. A similar strategy could be used for WDW's parks, except the cost to do so would greater than it was in the 90s because Disney is now incapable of getting the same value out of their spending. They wouldn't cost $450 million a piece though.


Well-Known Member
The Mickey Mouse Revue, also an E-ticket upon opening, never was as much. That's why it got demoted to a D ticket and closed after 9 years.
Bill Justice used to say the problem was the pre-show theater. It was too small vs the main theater. So they never would hit their numbers which were based on the main theater. The Wikipedia entry seems to confirm. "The original theater at Walt Disney World sat 500 park guests, but the pre-show area only had room for 300, a planning mistake." He also said Japan wanted it, and there wasn't time to build them their own, so they moved it for the opening of Tokyo Disneyland. But this gives the impression it wasn't popular
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Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
Just finished it and I'm speechless. It's everything that we, the Fastpass haters on this forum, have been saying for years, only in the most epic and researched video on the topic that could possibly have been done.

I believe this video should be a must-watch for all of us on here. It's THAT good, and THAT damning. I also suggest sticking with it, because there's a point where you might start to doubt some of his claims, but he hits you with a twist.

There's so much to process here. It's gonna take me a bit.


Well-Known Member
I'm not going to watch a 1 hour 43 minute video about this. Let me know when the Reader's Digest version is released.
Agreed. I applaud Kevin as I've watched many of his other videos and they're very well done. But I think this time it went a bit overboard with a video about Fastpass/Fastpass+ being longer/the same length as a feature length film.


Well-Known Member
Agreed. I applaud Kevin as I've watched many of his other videos and they're very well done. But I think this time it went a bit overboard with a video about Fastpass/Fastpass+ being longer/the same length as a feature length film.
This is a very dense topic that he covered as cogently as possible, to include animations and video displays. It's basically his masters thesis. This is very much my groove so I am loving it so far (still working my way through it)


Active Member
I remember when Fastpass+ was being rolled out and we were at a hotel beta testing it, and how much less we could do compared to other guests with the paper fast passes, and how inflexible Disney was to help make up for the experience. I also remember when Space Mountain went down and the rest of the line left so that there were 1 1/2 switchbacks full, but we were told we were going to be stuck in that one spot for 2 hours (until park closing) because of the Fastpass+ overhead, and walking out of that line to find you were not even permitted to enter the standby line.

I wish I could say this phenomenon were specific to Disney, but Disney is a leader in the industry in too many ways. Several parks now effectively mandate you to get their Fastpass if you don't visit often in order to ride their peak offerings, and I've seen them not limit their version of Fastpass too. A huge difference though is the lack of planning necessary compared to Disney, but I think that will change with time.

Unfortunately the monster Kevin referenced will probably win and cause Disney and other theme parks to decline in popularity for a generation once a generation comes up and decides waiting in the lines at theme parks and paying extra while being thankful for it isn't all that it's cracked up to be.


Well-Known Member
Finished watching and I feel... vindication.

However, what I would like to see is what happens with the simulation when you change the balk times for the archetypes. The point was sort of made with the shoe example, but I have always felt like it was not fully understood how much balkers in "no FP" world would rush the FP distribution line if they were given the option to not balk. While people with high balk times wouldn't be motivated to even check until they were already fully distributed, leaving them no choice but long standby waits.

Also, I would like to have seen some discussion over how the self-selection process is affected by how FP is distributed. How many people participate when you had to hoof it from place to place, vs your phone or central location vs at home in your PJs. Maybe hard to simulate.

The monster was never caged though. It has just started eating the guests who paid it not to eat them because it's now hungry for cash not people, and those people have more money in their wallets, not just what they handed over. No more friends, only money.

Great job!
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Well-Known Member
Lol I was just thinking "I wonder what @lentesta thinks of this video" and almost didn't realize you'd posted the thread!

Fascinating data, really great stuff. Love the reveal about the simulation.

I think his one miss is the brief comments about the ROTR virtual queue. The extraordinary and unpredictable downtime would have made a pure standby experience absolutely miserable. Sure, the groups would fill up quickly but you would know one way or the other (generally speaking, really late groups excluded) if you had a shot at riding that day, without having to stand in a brutal line. It was the best solution to the problem of unknown capacity. It made sure there was a minimal amount of wasted throughput in a given day, without requiring physical presence in a line that doesn't even guarantee a ride on the attraction. The process could be brutal, sure, but given the alternative it was the right choice.


Well-Known Member
I'm only 10 minutes in to this (and almost certainly won't watch the whole thing right now) but I'm already fascinated.

Also, it's almost funny how Disney has apparently forgotten everything they learned about operations up through the 1980s. You need high capacity attractions. They keep building stuff that has miniscule capacity compared to some (not all) of what they were building 30+ years ago, when you consider that attendance is much higher now so 2000 guests per hour is functionally less than it used to be.

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