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waymickey
08-10-2013, 05:58 PM
Just got back from the world today. The lines were very long. Epcot and MK were very crowded and AK and DHS was not super crowded but still long lines. I stayed for 10 days for the first few days the lines were ok normal wait times. Then we noticed more and more magic bands and the wait times got longer. Some which never have a wait time now had absurd wait times. For example 120 minutes for the Great Movie Ride? The lines were not so long but the wait time was very high. Even Fast Pass had to wait at least 20 minutes to get on some rides, BTMR, SM, TSM,ToT ect.
We had a fast pass for TSM and noticed no line outside for standby and no line inside the first room either. I asked the CM if the 120 minute wait time was correct and he said "it is probably longer". :confused: The standby line was shorter than the fast pass line but taking 3-4 times longer??? This is the reason given to me by that CM. Fast pass and Fastpass+ go on first with few standby people getting filtered in every couple of minutes. For TSM their are 4 lines with the tiers being as follows- first on FP+ then FP then Single riders, and last standby.
The FP+ in MHO has made all lines longer and if you do not have it getting on some of your favorite attractions is not likely.

VWL Mom
08-10-2013, 06:48 PM
Oh joy, not exactly what I wanted to hear. :( Hopefully the normally low crowds the last week in August will help us out.

joonyer
08-10-2013, 08:58 PM
It's simple math. The more people using FPs of any nature (regular or FP+), the longer the standby lines will be. Disney wants guests to use the FP system, so making standby waits longer is a great way to make guests choose to use it. There's a reason that Disney wants guests to become "hooked" on using the FP+ system as it becomes fully implemented. It will become apparent in a year or two, once everyone is addicted to them.

Reedy Creek Buccaneer
08-11-2013, 01:26 AM
The Great Movie Ride was the longest line we stood in at DHS in June, but no where near 2 hours, more like 20 minutes. I really find that hard to believe it was that long.

Aurora
08-11-2013, 01:32 AM
The Great Movie Ride was the longest line we stood in at DHS in June, but no where near 2 hours, more like 20 minutes. I really find that hard to believe it was that long.

Me too. For it to be that long would require people continuing to get in it, and at a certain point, they'd bypass it. I highly doubt that point is at 120 minutes for GMR.

mgmnut
08-11-2013, 10:28 AM
I hope this is not going to become the norm now. We leave in 5 days, not testing fastpass+ and not looking forward to standby times like that.

waymickey
08-11-2013, 12:31 PM
It's simple math. The more people using FPs of any nature (regular or FP+), the longer the standby lines will be. Disney wants guests to use the FP system, so making standby waits longer is a great way to make guests choose to use it. There's a reason that Disney wants guests to become "hooked" on using the FP+ system as it becomes fully implemented. It will become apparent in a year or two, once everyone is addicted to them.

I don't understand why Disney wants people to use fast pass when it just causes long lines and frustrated guests. I use the fast pass system but you can only hold one and if that time is hours away you have to wait in long standby lines. I got a FP for the boat ride in Norway!? I never had to do that before.
I stayed at BC and did not have a choice to use the magic band. I talked to a lot of people on the bus who had the band and they were not thrilled with having them. Also I felt a twinge of something :envy:watching people with the bands get right onto rides.

PirateLover
08-11-2013, 05:08 PM
This is what confuses me about regular FastPass continuing to run with the FastPass+ system. Perhaps a CM can come along and shed more light, or maybe this was addressed in another thread that I missed, but are there now MORE FastPasses given out because the two systems are running, or are the numbers of regular ones reduced? If it was the same amount, you wouldn't think it would affect the lines in such a drastic way. I would think, like waymickey said, that Disney DOESN'T want you waiting in line because you can't spend money in the line.

WDWdriver
08-11-2013, 07:47 PM
WDW continues to be a dynamic place with many influences on park attendance and attraction wait times. The Disney management bean counters can probably tell you exactly why the parks seem crowded and the lines are long and what effect Fast Pass Plus has had on wait times. I have a much more limited view, but I can at least pass on a few observations.

First of all, the parks seem more crowded than usual because they are. I'm not allowed to discuss attendance numbers, but I can tell you that they are up. Resort occupancy is up, merchandise revenue is up, and dining ADRs are hard to get.

So it's no surprise to me that the attraction wait times are also up. This summer the wait times where I work have often been 90 minutes or more. We have seen many waits in excess of 120 minutes, which was unheard of just a couple of years ago.

So how much of an impact has MyMagic+ and FP+ had on all of this? Not much, as far as I can tell. Remember that FP+ is still in a test phase, and a pretty limited test at that. The only participants so far are those staying at a handful of Disney resorts, and then only those guests who have bothered to set up an MDE account. Will you see guests with wristbands in the parks? Sure, they tend to stand out. But I'm not seeing much of an impact.

Earlier this week I worked the Fast Pass Return position at a major AK attraction. We were running the familiar old FP system and also accepting FP+ wristbands. In an hour's time I admitted perhaps 30 guests with the wristbands, not enough to cause even a small blip in the standby wait time. The only impact that I noticed was that the Fast Pass Return entrance was sometimes jammed up because of problems with the wristbands. So, if anything, the FP line was affected, not the standby.

I can't speak for every WDW attraction, but at ours guests with the wristbands are not given any entrance priority over those holding the paper FPs. There has been no change to the ratio of standbys vs FPs at the merge point.

So far the number of available paper FPs has not been reduced to compensate for those with wristbands. That may change as FP+ users become more numerous. And eventually the paper FPs and their distribution machines will go away completely.

As the CMs know only too well, the only thing constant at WDW is change.

AvonleaCF
08-11-2013, 09:56 PM
FP+ is the one thing in all my planning I haven't been paying much attention to. What's the current deal with it? Which resorts and dates? Every time I log into MDE it gives me a popup about "linking" my reservations, but nothing happens. There are also links to manage wristbands and choose FP+, but nothing happens when you click on them.

waymickey
08-11-2013, 11:05 PM
First of all, the parks seem more crowded than usual because they are. I'm not allowed to discuss attendance numbers, but I can tell you that they are up. Resort occupancy is up, merchandise revenue is up, and dining ADRs are hard to get.


I don't doubt this at all. The parks especially MK were jammed when I was there last week. MY resort was hopping and the bus lines were also very long. But I spent much LESS money this vacation then I have in the past. I did not spend money on dinning since I could not get ADRs and I did not spend money on merchandise because it was all the same nothing new. I spent half of what I normally do and left thinking that next year I would either just go on the Disney cruise or go to the beach.
Honestly the lines just ruined for me. I waited in line for Splash Mtn and it broke down before I got on, I waited in line for BTM and it broke before I got on, I waited in line for jungle cruise and lightening caused all outdoor rides to shut down before I got on. I spent more time in lines then on attractions and even with a a fast pass for BTM I did not get on since the weather forced it to close for the night.

We LOVE Disney
08-11-2013, 11:44 PM
First of all, the parks seem more crowded than usual because they are. I'm not allowed to discuss attendance numbers, but I can tell you that they are up. Resort occupancy is up, merchandise revenue is up, and dining ADRs are hard to get.


I'm just curious as to why you aren't allowed to discuss attendance numbers?

Hammer
08-12-2013, 01:31 AM
First of all, the parks seem more crowded than usual because they are. I'm not allowed to discuss attendance numbers, but I can tell you that they are up. Resort occupancy is up, merchandise revenue is up, and dining ADRs are hard to get.



I'm just curious as to why you aren't allowed to discuss attendance numbers?

Ron probably has to sign forms saying he will not divulge any company information that is not put out for public record. I sign similar forms with Comcast NBC Universal. Violating these policies are grounds for termination.

We LOVE Disney
08-12-2013, 07:34 AM
Ron probably has to sign forms saying he will not divulge any company information that is not put out for public record. I sign similar forms with Comcast NBC Universal. Violating these policies are grounds for termination.

Ok. Makes sense. Thanks :mickey:

WDWdriver
08-12-2013, 08:48 AM
Ron probably has to sign forms saying he will not divulge any company information that is not put out for public record. I sign similar forms with Comcast NBC Universal. Violating these policies are grounds for termination.

Right. Disney does not make park attendance information public. Neither does Universal Studios or Seaworld. The numbers are considered proprietary.

Aurora
08-12-2013, 11:32 AM
WDW continues to be a dynamic place with many influences on park attendance and attraction wait times. The Disney management bean counters can probably tell you exactly why the parks seem crowded and the lines are long and what effect Fast Pass Plus has had on wait times. I have a much more limited view, but I can at least pass on a few observations.

First of all, the parks seem more crowded than usual because they are. I'm not allowed to discuss attendance numbers, but I can tell you that they are up. Resort occupancy is up, merchandise revenue is up, and dining ADRs are hard to get.

So it's no surprise to me that the attraction wait times are also up. This summer the wait times where I work have often been 90 minutes or more. We have seen many waits in excess of 120 minutes, which was unheard of just a couple of years ago.

So how much of an impact has MyMagic+ and FP+ had on all of this? Not much, as far as I can tell. Remember that FP+ is still in a test phase, and a pretty limited test at that. The only participants so far are those staying at a handful of Disney resorts, and then only those guests who have bothered to set up an MDE account. Will you see guests with wristbands in the parks? Sure, they tend to stand out. But I'm not seeing much of an impact.

Earlier this week I worked the Fast Pass Return position at a major AK attraction. We were running the familiar old FP system and also accepting FP+ wristbands. In an hour's time I admitted perhaps 30 guests with the wristbands, not enough to cause even a small blip in the standby wait time. The only impact that I noticed was that the Fast Pass Return entrance was sometimes jammed up because of problems with the wristbands. So, if anything, the FP line was affected, not the standby.

I can't speak for every WDW attraction, but at ours guests with the wristbands are not given any entrance priority over those holding the paper FPs. There has been no change to the ratio of standbys vs FPs at the merge point.

So far the number of available paper FPs has not been reduced to compensate for those with wristbands. That may change as FP+ users become more numerous. And eventually the paper FPs and their distribution machines will go away completely.

As the CMs know only too well, the only thing constant at WDW is change.

Thanks for the explanation. I'm sure when FP+ is out of test phase and running throughout the park that many people will complain that it's making standby lines too long. But I continue to be skeptical for many reasons that I've already detailed elsewhere. Thanks for validating an earlier comment I made that when lines are long, it's because there are more people in the parks. :mickey:

Aurora
08-12-2013, 11:36 AM
I don't doubt this at all. The parks especially MK were jammed when I was there last week. MY resort was hopping and the bus lines were also very long. But I spent much LESS money this vacation then I have in the past. I did not spend money on dinning since I could not get ADRs and I did not spend money on merchandise because it was all the same nothing new. I spent half of what I normally do and left thinking that next year I would either just go on the Disney cruise or go to the beach.
Honestly the lines just ruined for me. I waited in line for Splash Mtn and it broke down before I got on, I waited in line for BTM and it broke before I got on, I waited in line for jungle cruise and lightening caused all outdoor rides to shut down before I got on. I spent more time in lines then on attractions and even with a a fast pass for BTM I did not get on since the weather forced it to close for the night.

Sorry you had such bad luck for the rides, and I know how frustrating crowded parks can be. Our trip two years ago was timed to avoid crowds, but we saw some of the biggest crowds we had in years for reasons we hadn't known about beforehand. Crowds alone can really put a damper on a vacation.

GoBlueLacheta
08-12-2013, 11:59 AM
Keep track of wait times on the Apps on my phone at Disney and Universal just out of curiosity usually. It is the last week before a lot of schools go back in session, so it may be a slight jump in attendance these last few weeks.

A week or two ago, I also saw much more manageable wait times even mid-day in some park. I know these are user-generated but they tend to be fairly accurate. 60 for SM at 1:30pm isn't terrible during the summer, but other days it is easily 120, so clearly a lot of factors.

FaithTrustPixieDust
08-12-2013, 12:36 PM
FP+ is the one thing in all my planning I haven't been paying much attention to. What's the current deal with it? Which resorts and dates? Every time I log into MDE it gives me a popup about "linking" my reservations, but nothing happens. There are also links to manage wristbands and choose FP+, but nothing happens when you click on them.

I've wondered the same thing. Can anyone else provide some answers?
Thanks

Daisy'sMom
08-12-2013, 12:58 PM
What will be the impact on passholders? We sometimes get up in the morning and decide to drive over for the day. Will all fast passes have to be prebooked?

miltimo5
08-12-2013, 01:19 PM
not having tried the new system yet, but having visited WDW in almost every month, my first trip and several after in August have always been the most crowded. and for some reason :shrug: August the month that seems to have the highest temps, had the lines i waited in the longest. Aside from Splash Mtn, Big Thunder Mtn, Great Movie Ride and Backlot tours seemed the longest. i assumed it was the extra long queue's where you think you are almost there then :ack: you turn a corner and wait some more. who would think Backlot tour and GMR would have such long lines......but august can be torture too .. good luck to those going in august... i went in august 2011..i survived but didnt get done eveything i wanted to...

WDWdriver
08-12-2013, 01:45 PM
FP+ is the one thing in all my planning I haven't been paying much attention to. What's the current deal with it? Which resorts and dates? Every time I log into MDE it gives me a popup about "linking" my reservations, but nothing happens. There are also links to manage wristbands and choose FP+, but nothing happens when you click on them.

Currently, FP+ testing is by invitation only and is limited to guests with reservations at certain Disney resorts. The resorts so far include CR, POP, YC, CBR, and CSR. As testing continues into September more resorts will be added. WL appears to be one of those, but a complete list has not been released.

Invitations are usually by email, although some have been via pop-up messages on the MDE web site. If the linking messages on MDE lead nowhere, then you have not been selected. Participants have been receiving their invitations at about three weeks prior to their arrival (sometimes less).

Once you are selected the MDE links will work for you, and you will be able to book up to three FPs per day at a single park for the duration on your visit. You cannot reserve additional FPs at a second park on the same day.

If there is sufficient lead time your wristbands will arrive at your door. Otherwise, they will be available for pickup at your resort.

The wristbands contain an RFID chip, and you use the wristband for park admission, Fast Pass access, room key, PhotoPass, and charging of meals and merchandise.

WDWdriver
08-12-2013, 02:01 PM
What will be the impact on passholders? We sometimes get up in the morning and decide to drive over for the day. Will all fast passes have to be prebooked?

AP holders have not been included in the testing yet, so there are tons of rumors about how it will work for them. The most likely scenario is that all paper AP media will be replaced by plastic cards with imbedded RFID chips. AP holders can then use the MDE web site or app to pre-book dining or FP reservations. This will work for same day booking, but choices will likely be limited due to all those other folks booking well in advance. The AP card will work just like a wristband for park access and FP.

Tekneek
08-12-2013, 02:21 PM
Any idea if these attractions were running at maximum occupancy during these big wait times? Was it simply impossible to keep up, or was management intentionally letting the wait times build up? That would add a little more context.

Gusgus
08-12-2013, 02:53 PM
AP holders have not been included in the testing yet

I am an AP holder, received my bands, and I am going to DW later this month. Right now I have my meal reservations and FP+ all picked out using MyDisneyExperience. I will post here when I find out what they do with bands and / or cards.

Gusgus

WDWdriver
08-12-2013, 03:57 PM
Glad to hear that AP holders are now being included, Gusgus. Let us know how it works out for you.

waymickey
08-12-2013, 04:18 PM
Any idea if these attractions were running at maximum occupancy during these big wait times? Was it simply impossible to keep up, or was management intentionally letting the wait times build up? That would add a little more context.

I have no idea if they were running at full capacity. I can just tell you that the standby line while did not look extremely long had very long wait times. Splash and BTMR did break down several times.
I felt that there were more fast passes and FP+ given out then usual and that they were letting those people on first. One CM at BTMR said, (as we approached a fast pass line that was so long it was out into the normal walkway by where the line is for TSI), that they were going to try to honor the 15 minute wait for FP. It was just about 15-20 minutes before we got on the ride. The stand by line was at 120 minutes and I think it was every minute of that wait and the line was shorter than FP.

PopPhan
08-12-2013, 04:55 PM
I have no idea if they were running at full capacity. I can just tell you that the standby line while did not look extremely long had very long wait times. Splash and BTMR did break down several times.
I felt that there were more fast passes and FP+ given out then usual and that they were letting those people on first. One CM at BTMR said, (as we approached a fast pass line that was so long it was out into the normal walkway by where the line is for TSI), that they were going to try to honor the 15 minute wait for FP. It was just about 15-20 minutes before we got on the ride. The stand by line was at 120 minutes and I think it was every minute of that wait and the line was shorter than FP.

This, in my opinion, is a problem. Too many FastPasses/FP+ given out for a given period. I can understand giving FP/FP+ priority, after all, that is what you are given to understand when using them, but if someone in the Stand-By line is waiting for more than an hour, something is definitely wrong with the procedure.

Maybe, when fully implemented, FP+ will take care of some of that by limiting the number of FastPasses per person per day per park. Hopefully, they will also limit the number given out for any one attraction during any time period as well.

WDWdriver
08-12-2013, 06:17 PM
I am an AP holder, received my bands, and I am going to DW later this month. Right now I have my meal reservations and FP+ all picked out using MyDisneyExperience. I will post here when I find out what they do with bands and / or cards.

A question for you, Gusgus. Were you able to link your AP to MDE? Or are you participating in the test because you are staying at one of the test phase resorts?

AndrewJackson
08-12-2013, 07:38 PM
It's all about the rope drop, baby! If you are touring the parks on a day when the crowds are a 10 out of 10, you gotta get there for the rope drop, or you are wasting your time waiting in lines.

Here is how we plan on using FastPass+. We will get to the parks at rope drop. Hit as many rides as possible until 1:00 or so, head back to the resort for a late lunch, nap, swim, etc, then head back to the park for our 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 FP+.

Just a "theory" at this point. ;)

Aurora
08-12-2013, 07:43 PM
It's all about the rope drop, baby! If you are touring the parks on a day when the crowds are a 10 out of 10, you gotta get there for the rope drop, or you are wasting your time waiting in lines.

Here is how we plan on using FastPass+. We will get to the parks at rope drop. Hit as many rides as possible until 1:00 or so, head back to the resort for a late lunch, nap, swim, etc, then head back to the park for our 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 FP+.

Just a "theory" at this point. ;)

Looks like this might be the new "in-the-know" strategy going forward, which also adds park-hopping to the equation. :secret:

Gusgus
08-12-2013, 09:25 PM
A question for you, Gusgus. Were you able to link your AP to MDE?


I was able to link my AP renewal to MDE


Or are you participating in the test because you are staying at one of the test phase resorts?

Yes I am staying at one of the test phase resorts

seanyred
08-12-2013, 10:36 PM
It's all about the rope drop, baby! If you are touring the parks on a day when the crowds are a 10 out of 10, you gotta get there for the rope drop, or you are wasting your time waiting in lines.

Here is how we plan on using FastPass+. We will get to the parks at rope drop. Hit as many rides as possible until 1:00 or so, head back to the resort for a late lunch, nap, swim, etc, then head back to the park for our 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 FP+.

Just a "theory" at this point. ;)

You sound like a "Liner"...are you a Liner?

Either way getting there at rope drope or at least having a solid touring plan is key to any fun day in the parks.

Gusgus
08-23-2013, 11:00 AM
Glad to hear that AP holders are now being included, Gusgus. Let us know how it works out for you.


Two quick things. After a bumpy start I have my AP on my magic band. I will post details in a separate thread soon.

My opinion: we come at the same time in August every year and the lines are longer. I do NOT in my opinion believe it is because of magic band testing. Although I see people with bands on there aren't very many. For example, We were on a loooong fast past return line at Test Track yesterday and we were the only ones with bands. We got to the park very late at 10:30 and the cast member at the gate said "wow the first wrist band I saw all morning"

Gusgus

Tekneek
08-23-2013, 11:58 AM
We've been invited into a test and sounds like my wife wants to give it a shot so that we get to provide feedback to Disney about it. I'll be looking forward to putting it through its paces, since I'm already not a fan of the concept. It will either win me over, or I will get to provide input on what I think is wrong.

Opus X
08-23-2013, 05:45 PM
It's all about the rope drop, baby! If you are touring the parks on a day when the crowds are a 10 out of 10, you gotta get there for the rope drop, or you are wasting your time waiting in lines.

Here is how we plan on using FastPass+. We will get to the parks at rope drop. Hit as many rides as possible until 1:00 or so, head back to the resort for a late lunch, nap, swim, etc, then head back to the park for our 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 FP+.

Just a "theory" at this point. ;)
Heck yes!!! We open and close the parks!! ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS ride and ride and ride and still have time to take it all in. Folks that snooze lose...Been that way since 1971 and will be that way in 2171!!:mickey:

Daisy'sMom
08-27-2013, 04:46 PM
So, will they eventually only have Ft+? I am confused. Will all fast passes be arranged before your vacation? If so, what happens to families like mine, we get up and decide to go to a park that morning? Will we still be able to take advantage of fast passes?:mickey:

Tekneek
08-27-2013, 05:02 PM
So, will they eventually only have Ft+? I am confused. Will all fast passes be arranged before your vacation? If so, what happens to families like mine, we get up and decide to go to a park that morning? Will we still be able to take advantage of fast passes?:mickey:

Eventually, you will only be able to book FP+ either through a smartphone, computer, or at a kiosk in the parks. Spur of the moment park going may result in the inability to get a fastpass for a major attraction, and it may not be available for any as people take whatever slots they can get.

Goes4FastPass
08-27-2013, 05:50 PM
What does MDE stand for and why does it already sound like something that's going to be more about planning and less about vacationing?

Opus X
08-27-2013, 06:31 PM
Before regular fast pass....WDW had long lines everyday all day.
Fast pass has been a god send. I am looking forward to FP+ fully implemented. I will love to book a FP ahead of our trip. There is alot of rumors about what FP+ will be like....time will tell.
I will remain optimistic it will be just fine. Disney has never let us down yet and I think folks need to wait untill its all ironed out...The sun will come up tomorrow!
Things will be fine.:thumbsup:

WDWdriver
08-27-2013, 09:04 PM
What does MDE stand for and why does it already sound like something that's going to be more about planning and less about vacationing?

Okay, going :offtopic: here because this thread is about Fast Pass. MDE stands for My Disney Experience, which is both a web site and mobile application (Google it to go look). Yes, it is a planning tool for those going to WDW. You can use it to purchase park tickets, reserve hotel rooms, make dining reservations, and eventually to make reservations for Fast Pass on your favorite attractions. But you don't have to use MDE for any of that. It is also a complete guide to WDW, including information, pics and tours of the resorts, restaurants, parks and rides. Want to know what a ride is like? Want to see a restaurant menu? MDE has all of that. The whole "Plan Everything in Advance" concept has plenty of critics, but you can't deny that MDE is very informative and very well done. Check it out for yourself.