Fastpass + : The Real Purpose?


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I'm pretty sure all theme parks do this at one point or another, as a way to distribute guests through the park.

Here's Space Mountain on New Year's Eve 2014 as an example. The blue line is the posted wait shown to guests in MDE. The red line was the internal "actual wait" that used to be in the MDE data feed. (So all the data come from Disney.)

The actual wait for Space Mountain at 10 a.m. was around 65 minutes. The posted wait was 250. That 250 was a signal for people to go to other, less crowded parts of the park.

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Can anyone see the actual times live or is it a super secret shhhh thing?


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This is really a question with no true answer, I'd suppose. But if FastPass+ was removed in its entirety from the parks, what could average wait times for rides reasonably be? I guess for the purpose of this question, the latest rides wouldn't be included (?)
Probably not much different from the current standby lines. Remember the standby lines are so slow now because of all the fastpass people that get shuffled in front of standby people. Not to mention the aversion to long waits that some people have would probably continually results in lots of people skipping rides as the wait times increased keeping them at constant levels longer than their shortest times now but probably no longer than the longest times they see now.


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I love the Peoplemover and just shake my head every time I check wait times on the app and see it has a wait time of 30+ minutes. 😱
The funny thing is I remember riding it in the 70's when it was much more popular then, than it is now but the lines weren't that long. I don't know if they have fewer trains running on it now or if they have just become horrible at managing the process of getting people on and off but it seems much slower lines on it now even when it is less popular than it once was.... Of course it also seems that when you ride it now that they rarely have all the spaces on the trains filled. Even if you have a line of people waiting to get on there will almost always been empty cars on the train.
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Well first, it has nothing to do with minimizing staffing. Having Fastpass at an attraction adds at least one position and usually more, not to mention the entire team behind it and adjusting it behind the scenes.

Basically, Fastpass, and Fastpass+, are free because they are not a "skip the line" pass. They are a form of virtual queuing. By virtual queuing this enables guests to, in theory, spend less time in lines and more time in parks and restaurants, thereby spending more money. Fastpass+ took this a step further by enabling to control the supply and demand of the Fastpasses to a much deeper level, to the point where they can adjust how they are distributed, when more passes are dropped, etc. to move crowds where they want them.

Another thing Fastpass, and even moreso with Fastpass+ does, is artificially inflate the standby lines. Some posters on here will argue tooth and nail that this isn't true, but anyone who has ever worked directly with the Fastpass system or on a popular attraction that uses Fastpass will confirm that it is true. Disney likes to tout that "people who use Fastpass ride more than those who don't." Well, this is absolutely true, however, what it really means is you HAVE to use Fastpass to ride the same number of attractions as you would if the system did not exist at all. It forces you to do more work to get the same experience, though of course with some benefits such as waiting in shorter queues. Fastpass+ has made this concept even more frustrating because you typically have to plan your Fastpasses in advance or you will be left with slim pickings. This brings me to my next point - with the old legacy Fastpass system, the "playing field" was the same for everyone. Want good Fastpasses? Get there early. However, Disney resort guests have a massive advantage by being able to reserve 60 days out. Others who purchase their tickets in advance and plan ahead can reserve Fastpasses 30 days out. Anyone who purchases their tickets day of will probably be screwed and at a massive disadvantage and will likely experience less than everyone else.

Finally, I will leave you with the numbers. Disney distributes enough Fastpasses to account for 80% of any ride's hourly capacity. On any popular attraction, 80% of anyone riding entered using a Fastpass. The "illusion" they want you to believe is that you are "skipping the longer line". In reality, you are in the vast majority of riders when you use a Fastpass.
Disney resort guests should get that advantage, thats what I don't like about the boarding groups it lets non Disney resort guest in at the same time and thst should not be the case.
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