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Longer Wait Times at POTC and HM

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Beginning on January 14, the Magic Kingdom (MK) eliminated FASTPASS (FP) and switching over to FastPass+ (FP+) only".

Using data from touringplans.com to compare the first 2 weeks of "FP+ only" operation for similar weeks from 2013 with 2014:
  1. Excluding Haunted Mansion (MH) and Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC), MK Standby Line wait times were down by 12%.
  2. HM wait times were up 9%.
  3. POTC wait times were up 21%.
  4. Peter Pan wait times were flat.
  5. Wait times for all other MK attractions were down.
There are a few points to consider.

Touringplans.com data are official Disney posted waits from Mobile Magic.

Touringplans.com does not track all attractions, only the most popular. POTC and HM are the only two tracked that previous did not have FP.

Splash Mountain was closed for refurbishment. All other factors being equal, one might expect the closure of a major attraction to result in longer lines elsewhere.

Disney does not publish attendance. There's no way of knowing if the shorter wait times at the other attractions were the result of FP+, lower attendance, or a combination of the two.

What's clear is that HM and POTC bucked the trend of all other MK attractions. As several predicted, it appears providing FP+ to all guests has resulted in longer wait times at these two popular attractions.

I emphasize these are early results. More data will need to be analyzed over a wider period to better determine if the longer HM and POTC wait times are permanent.
 
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afar28

Well-Known Member
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I don't even know why they needed it in the first place. I have never seen either above a 20 minute wait (not including the filled to capacity seasons where everything has crazy waits) for either so I don't know why they had to add it to those two attractions
 

Clamman73

Well-Known Member
If they could just return Pirates to no fastpass at all...everyone just pick if you want to go in the left side or the right...load the boats...everyone sing Yo-Ho Yo-Ho...say we wants the redhead...whistle at the dog...get off..go get a burger at Pecos...it's that simple.
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I don't even know why they needed it in the first place. I have never seen either above a 20 minute wait (not including the filled to capacity seasons where everything has crazy waits) for either so I don't know why they had to add it to those two attractions
FP+ has been added to a lot of attractions that don't need it.

Last month's testing at DAK was revealing. During the busiest week of the year, DAK ran out of 3 FP+ selections for day guests.

Even limited to 3 FP+ per guest, several of WDW's theme parks simply don't have sufficient capacity for desirable attractions, forcing guests to make FP+ selections for attractions that never needed FP.
 

stevehousse

Well-Known Member
Or could it just be that people know the lines for these 2 rides are never long so they already know not to us a FP pick on it? That would make the stand by line a little longer I suppose?
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
What's clear is that HM and POTC bucked the trend of all other MK attractions. As several predicted, it appears providing FP+ to all guests has resulted in longer wait times at these two popular attractions.

I emphasize these are early results. More data will need to be analyzed over a wider period to better determine if the longer HM and POTC wait times are permanent.
Well... yes.. but I would be careful with how far that fact is applied.

Almost by definition... adding FP to an attraction that did not have FP prior would increase standby waits due to the lower priority of the standby line and the fact FP is almost garunteed to be used. For an attraction with a relatively low standby wait... people are not going to opt OUT of standby.. so adding FP probably adds more re-rides rather than taking people OUT of standby. If the guests opt for both standby and FP... standby will increase.

There has to be a tipping point where the standby wait is long enough where guests will opt for FP and NOT get in standby as well. When you hit that point.. your impact on standby will be lessened as riders opt for FP alone.. vs a ride in FP AND standby at another point in time.

But I still believe focusing on a single attraction (or attractions in isolation) is a poor way of gauging the impact of FP. Because the value in the system is not about attractions in isolation.. but what it allows the person to achieve in aggregate across their park visit. This is why the 'come in after work crowd' has always been screwed by FP, while the 'I spent all day at the park' people stood to gain the most.
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
But I still believe focusing on a single attraction (or attractions in isolation) is a poor way of gauging the impact of FP. Because the value in the system is not about attractions in isolation.. but what it allows the person to achieve in aggregate across their park visit. This is why the 'come in after work crowd' has always been screwed by FP, while the 'I spent all day at the park' people stood to gain the most.
I agree but suggest that HM and POTC are exceptions, perhaps the only ones at WDW.

They are hugely popular attractions that always managed to keep their wait times down. They made for good options when lines were long elsewhere.

Really though, guests still are adapting to FP+ v1.0 while more changes are coming to FP+ v2.0. It's going to be a while before we see how this finally settles out.

I do have one prediction to make: Extremely long lines this summer.

At Universal. ;)
 

StarBurst

Well-Known Member
I will say this - last month I laughed at people that were entering Epcot that were excited to have FP+ reservations for Spaceship Earth when the standby line was zero, lol. They waited more time scanning their bands and walking through the FP+ line than just going standby.
this is just the type of familythat Disney markets for.
want to bet they go over their spending budget on crap while there?
 

jlsHouston

Well-Known Member
What is the prediction for wait times on rides when we have crowds at the parks ? Specifically what would be a good touring plan for the week of spring break in March ?
Does everyone think that the rides will have plenty of walk on and short wait times in the morning hours still and to save the FP+ selections for later in the day times ?
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
What is the prediction for wait times on rides when we have crowds at the parks ? Specifically what would be a good touring plan for the week of spring break in March ?
Does everyone think that the rides will have plenty of walk on and short wait times in the morning hours still and to save the FP+ selections for later in the day times ?
save your self some effort and just sign up for touringplans.com if you want that kind of detailed deep dive on specific weeks/days/etc.
 

MrPromey

Well-Known Member
I will say this - last month I laughed at people that were entering Epcot that were excited to have FP+ reservations for Spaceship Earth when the standby line was zero, lol. They waited more time scanning their bands and walking through the FP+ line than just going standby.
I saw people doing this yesterday when the only line was the walking-pace constantly moving one from the front entrance to the building (essentially no wait, as usual) and kind of felt sorry for them but I guess Disney is sort of banking on people "wasting" some of their selections this way. That has to be at least part of why they've added it all over the place - especially in the Magic Kingdom where there are plenty of worthy attractions to go around.

Either way, it helps move people to less popular attractions they might not have noticed or had reason to consider before (cough, JIYI, cough) which funnels at least a little bit of traffic from the more popular stuff for a short while. Seems like an odd solution - handling demand for fewer popular attractions by driving more people to ones they might not like as much through subtle control of their decision making but I can see how from a crowd leveling perspective, this would be appealing to Disney.
 

Nick_A

On the edge of glory.
I will say this - last month I laughed at people that were entering Epcot that were excited to have FP+ reservations for Spaceship Earth when the standby line was zero, lol. They waited more time scanning their bands and walking through the FP+ line than just going standby.
Out of curiosity, though...once you choose either Soarin' or Test Track from group 1, what from group 2 besides Mission Space is really "worth" a FP+? Presumably a guest will choose either Soarin' or Test Track from group 1, then Mission Space, and then...what? 3 Caballeros? Seas with Nemo? Imagination? Are they really a better use of a FP+ than Spaceship Earth?
 

MikeTaylorSound

Well-Known Member
You can use one of your FP+ selections for a reserved spot at Illuminations, right? I'd use it on the Maelstrom... that is probably the most boring queue line in WDW, a long tunnel with nothing to look at but flags, and then a map to your right and a large, mural with a hidden mickey to your left.
 

disney4life2008

Well-Known Member
Out of curiosity, though...once you choose either Soarin' or Test Track from group 1, what from group 2 besides Mission Space is really "worth" a FP+? Presumably a guest will choose either Soarin' or Test Track from group 1, then Mission Space, and then...what? 3 Caballeros? Seas with Nemo? Imagination? Are they really a better use of a FP+ than Spaceship Earth?
Honestly, none of them are. But I think most would pick spaceship earth. But this just goes to say that FP+ at Epcot is a joke.
 

disney4life2008

Well-Known Member
You can use one of your FP+ selections for a reserved spot at Illuminations, right? I'd use it on the Maelstrom... that is probably the most boring queue line in WDW, a long tunnel with nothing to look at but flags, and then a map to your right and a large, mural with a hidden mickey to your left.
Yes for Illuminations.
 

Dwarful

Well-Known Member
The problem with Epcot is you can only pick one of the following for your Tier I options.
  • Character Spot
  • IllumiNations
  • Maelstrom
  • Soarin
  • Test Track
Everything else is Tier 2 and that is where you pick your other two options. Really...they consider Maelstrom on par with the other Tier 1s?
We have two days at Epcot. But I think only one day will we use FP's at Epcot. So using FP's at Epcot we will have to pick two other attractions at so I think we will pick mid day SSE and either Living with the Land or Turtle Talk.
 
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