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View Full Version : Fast Passes, Am I Doing it Wrong?



wiltsan
10-14-2017, 11:26 AM
Currently at the World after two years away and am struggling with the FB system. Only allowing me one top tier per park, per day. For instance, I have one for BTMRR but wanted to get a couple for Epcot later on, when I head Iver there this afternoon. If I choose anything for Epcot (slim pickings) I lose BTMRR. What gives? Last time we were here you could choose up to three for each park, each day. Terrible system or am I doing it wrong?

PopPhan
10-14-2017, 11:36 AM
Three per 'original' set, one park only. If park has tiered attractions, one in Tier 1, two in Tier 2.

Once those 3 are done, used or window expired, THEN you can pick for another park, if available.

Sorry.

ibelieveindisneymagic
10-14-2017, 04:58 PM
You can only pre-book 3 FP/day in advance, and they have to be in the same park.

So, you can't book one at MK, and then two at Epcot. Once you're actually in the parks, you can use your pre-booked FPs at MK (up to 3), and then book your next FP at another park.

RunDMV
10-14-2017, 10:40 PM
Its a horrible, horrible system. I absolutely hate everything about it.

azcavalier
10-16-2017, 11:13 AM
There are benefits and drawbacks to the system, and if you're used to the old system, you hate the lack of flexibility.

Here's how we make it work for us. First, we are the kind of park guests who get up insanely early to make sure we're there at least 30 minutes before the park opens. Period. Second, we always use Park Hoppers, and almost always go to different parks in the afternoon than the ones we start at in the morning.

With that in mind, our strategy is that when the park opens, we just go ride the stuff that is super-popular without using FPs. At Magic Kingdom, we head for 7DMT. At Epcot, we head for Soarin' (or Frozen). At DHS, we head for TSM, and then Rockin'. We plan all of our FPs for the afternoon park so that when we get there, we don't have to worry about lines for our favorite stuff.

So, an example for us would be to hit MK in the morning, do 7DMT, Peter Pan, Space Mountain, BTMRR in the morning, and see what else we can ride before lunch. Then we do a slightly early lunch (11-11:30), and then leave. We hang out at the resort for a few hours, swimming and napping, and then head out around dinner to, say, Epcot. We may have ressies there, or not, but we have our FPs for Soarin', Spaceship Earth, and maybe one other thing. We may not even use the 3rd FP at Epcot. If we were to go to AK in the afternoon, we would have FP for the new Avatar rides and Kali River Rapids.

Anyway, that's been our strategy, and it works for us. It's not as flexible as heading to a park, seeing what the waits are and grabbing a FP for the next thing you want to ride. But it does mean that I don't have to grab everyone's park ticket and head halfway across a park to the ride's FP kiosk while the rest of my party is doing something else. I don't miss that part of the old system.

Gator
10-16-2017, 02:50 PM
Its a horrible, horrible system. I absolutely hate everything about it.

I'm with you on this. I've been doing DL since FP+ was put into place. But I miss WDW terribly. Thinking about a return, but every time I start reading about FP+, I have major doubts. It just seems like a system born to fail.

The new system at DL (MaxPass), you get to choose FPs once you're in the park through your phone OR at the FP machines. If you choose the phone method, Disney charges you for it (bunch of carpet baggers). But you can still use the LegacyFP method.

I would love WDW to go to this system, where you can't get a FP until you're in the parks. Otherwise, FPs are all run out by the day of arrival. I like to ride the E-tickets more than once, but not wait in hour+ lines. C'mon WDW. You're the better of the two resorts. Get the better FP system!!!

SleepinB
10-16-2017, 06:50 PM
Since the change to FP+ we have taken to trips to the World. We have used the exact same strategy as @azcavalier. Not saying it is better than the legacy FP, but we have managed to alter our park visitation strategy to make the FP+ work for us, too. Hit rides with minimal lines first then in the morning, then hit another park at dinner time to use FP+ passes. It has been a nice combo for us.

RunDMV
10-16-2017, 07:16 PM
Did I mention its a horrible, HORRIBLE system and I hate everything about it?

I recently moved to Florida. I went to WDW annually+ from 1989 to 2010. After this debacle was launched, I quit going. Now that I am in Florida, I only go to please my wife.

its a horrible system.

PopPhan
10-17-2017, 10:37 AM
Did I mention its a horrible, HORRIBLE system and I hate everything about it?

I recently moved to Florida. I went to WDW annually+ from 1989 to 2010. After this debacle was launched, I quit going. Now that I am in Florida, I only go to please my wife.

its a horrible system.

No disrespect intended, but....

No, it's not horrible, just different. It is a fair system, allowing people other than the park veterans to get access to "E-Ticket" attractions without having to wait in 2 - 3 hour queues. It may not work the way YOU like, but it does work, and well, for a great number of people. Agreed that 'locals' MAY lose out on some things, but that can be made up by more frequent visits and knowing/learning the patterns and timing of the queues. Infrequent visitors do not get this opportunity.

I do agree with Gator that 'day of' FastPasses (FP+) would be a better fit for most people though. Enter through the turnstile, then immediately have your FP+ selection ability activated. If you do not select any attractions in that park, or select and use your 3 options, your selection ability is good for your next park.

How many people actually want to plan what park they are going to visit 60 days out? That kills the spontaneity of a relaxing visit. You just can't get up in the morning and say..."Hey! I want to go to MK today!" Now it's..."Hey! I want to go to MK today, but dang it, I have FP+ reservations in DHS!"

Many pluses and minuses to the new system, but, in fairness to all, it works.

ransam
10-17-2017, 12:31 PM
When it first came about, I thought i'd hate it, but i've made several trips now, and I love it. I thought I'd hate it because i'm kind of a go w/ the flow kinda guy. i didn't want my trip planned for me, but after using it, it still allowes me to go w/ the flow, while still letting me on the rides I wanted to go on w/o a wait. I like that it's so easy to change when you're at the park. when you're at the park a lot of rides that i couldn't get on, opened up. I love it.

Park Hopper
10-18-2017, 09:14 AM
There are benefits and drawbacks to the system, and if you're used to the old system, you hate the lack of flexibility.

Here's how we make it work for us..... .

I agree with this. I greatly prefer the spontaneity of the old system, but we are learning to deal with what it is now and make it work (we have no choice). We often follow the same type of plan that azcavalier described. Where it can also work is if you are there during a crowded season and you do not plan on getting to the park prior to rope drop. Then you can set the passes up for late morning and you are at least guaranteed getting on one of the big attractions without standby. Then you leave after the FP+s are completed, go back and rest for a little, and set up what you can for the evening. We will often do this in the summer and stay out late at night (our kids are old enough for this now) to ride standby when the lines are shorter. Of course, that makes it more difficult to get to the parks early.

So, it really depends upon the crowd levels, the park hours, and (of course) your personal preference. We loved the old system when we would go in mid-late January and the parks were not as crowded. We could get-up early and get on anything we wanted while gathering Fast Passes, using them, and then getting another. Because the kids are older, we now have to go over the summer when crowds are higher, but the parks are open later. The old FP system had more limitations during crowded days as you could not get so many and it could be hours before your time became available. The new system at least allows you to get something in a Park that you might be visiting later in the day, even if it is crowded.

Again, I prefer the old system, but the new system is not without its advantages. I do hate the fact that you have to reserve some of the attractions 60 days in advance if you want a FP for it. I wish they could somehow blend the two allowing for a certain number to be reserved that far in advanced, but still allowing for some to be available the day of by someone that is actually in the parks. Of course, had they spent the money that they blew on the new system to build more E-ticket attractions, then the demand for the top tier would be diluted (think FP availability at MK vs HS).

ThanxForNoticin
10-18-2017, 01:04 PM
I laugh just a little bit when I hear people say they prefer the "old" system with the kiosks and paper fastpasses. To me, the "old" system was when we got to the park, walked to the attraction, and waited in line to ride it! That system still exists today!! And yes, I know it's complicated a bit by the priority of fastpass holders.

Didn't Disney start fastpasses in the very late 90s or around 2000? That means we have an entire younger generation of folks who probably haven't experienced the attractions at WDW without a special reservation option like FP.

Giggy
10-21-2017, 12:41 PM
Fastpass originally came in some time between 1998 and 2001, it wasn't there for our first trip (1998) but was there for our second trip (2001).

I was expecting to not like FP+ but it actually worked well for us this year. Despite being in the 30-day booking group as we were offsite we got a Fastpass for every ride we wanted except for Flight of Passage, we even got Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which we didn't expect. I had been worried about being constrained by Fastpasses but we didn't find it did, 3 reservations in one day meant we would have one eye on when/where our next FP was but still gave us plenty of time in between that was free. I had initially not liked being able to book FPs in two parks on the same day in advance but we were able to make decisions and make it work... 3 Fastpasses in Magic Kingdom, then booked a 4th while still there, then still managed to book one for Test Track before we hopped on the Monorail to Epcot.

Only drawback we found it we did perhaps spend more time walking back on ourselves, though we're relatively fit so it didn't bother us too much. Except on the first day when my Dad was counting how many times we walked by the Gaston statue but I think that was more to do with inexperience planning FP+ on my part. :blush:

RunDMV
10-21-2017, 02:15 PM
No disrespect intended, but....

No, it's not horrible, just different. It is a fair system, allowing people other than the park veterans to get access to "E-Ticket" attractions without having to wait in 2 - 3 hour queues. It may not work the way YOU like, but it does work, and well, for a great number of people. Agreed that 'locals' MAY lose out on some things, but that can be made up by more frequent visits and knowing/learning the patterns and timing of the queues. Infrequent visitors do not get this opportunity.

I do agree with Gator that 'day of' FastPasses (FP+) would be a better fit for most people though. Enter through the turnstile, then immediately have your FP+ selection ability activated. If you do not select any attractions in that park, or select and use your 3 options, your selection ability is good for your next park.

How many people actually want to plan what park they are going to visit 60 days out? That kills the spontaneity of a relaxing visit. You just can't get up in the morning and say..."Hey! I want to go to MK today!" Now it's..."Hey! I want to go to MK today, but dang it, I have FP+ reservations in DHS!"

Many pluses and minuses to the new system, but, in fairness to all, it works.

No. It's horrible. It was constructed for one reason, to help Disney squeeze every last penny out of you by controlling your every action.

The scent of roses and carnations are different. The scent of garbage is horrible. FP+ is garbage. Those who defend it either forget or neglect to mention that FP+ includes attractions that never needed a FP before.

When you have to plan a vacation down to the day,hour and minute 60 days in advance, it's horrible, not different.

Giggy
10-21-2017, 03:23 PM
I didn't feel I had to plan by vacation down to the hour and minute. I already planned in advance which I wanted to be each day and it just meant I may know I need to be at one ride between 11-12, one between 2-3 and one between 3-4 for example. However I normally want to do everything in the park anyway so the exact order I do them in doesn't bother me, each ride takes maybe 10-15 minutes and I have a one hour window to be there, so other than one or two rushes where I miscalculated it didn't really stress it at all though. And even then when we were late leaving Typhoon Lagoon we had been able to push back Star Tours by about 30-40 minutes and getting there ok.

Both systems had advantages and disadvantages. For example the old system if you weren't there at rope drop you weren't getting a Toy Story Mania FP. In a perfect world I would say go for some level of compromise where half of the fastpasses are available at 60 days and the other half become available on the day - but I am sure that would probably work out badly for someone too. :confused:

RunDMV
10-22-2017, 06:50 AM
I didn't feel I had to plan by vacation down to the hour and minute. I already planned in advance which I wanted to be each day and it just meant I may know I need to be at one ride between 11-12, one between 2-3 and one between 3-4 for example. However I normally want to do everything in the park anyway so the exact order I do them in doesn't bother me, each ride takes maybe 10-15 minutes and I have a one hour window to be there, so other than one or two rushes where I miscalculated it didn't really stress it at all though. And even then when we were late leaving Typhoon Lagoon we had been able to push back Star Tours by about 30-40 minutes and getting there ok.

Both systems had advantages and disadvantages. For example the old system if you weren't there at rope drop you weren't getting a Toy Story Mania FP. In a perfect world I would say go for some level of compromise where half of the fastpasses are available at 60 days and the other half become available on the day - but I am sure that would probably work out badly for someone too. :confused:

Not true AT All. I never made rope drop and always got FP for TSM.

And yes, when 60 days out your FP says to be there at 11:25. Then you want to set up dining and the system tells you that you can't get the time you want because it overlaps your FP window by 5 minutes, you have to plan down to the minute.

I disagree with your comprise. The best solution is to have FP kiosks around the park where you can get a FP for any ride in that park.

I could go on forever why this system is terrible.



It's a horrible system and I hate everything about it.

Giggy
10-22-2017, 08:14 AM
And that is where it comes down to opinion, as clearly lots of people don't find it a terrible system. It worked relatively well for us, created some challenges but we overcame them. We very very rarely book ADRs so that was never an issue for us but I can see how that could be frustrating for you.

It will depend on how different people approach their vacation and what their priorities are. I did like the old system, it worked pretty well for us as we were quite good at getting Fastpasses under it, but at the same time the new system didn't exactly hurt us. The TSM anecdote is perhaps a historical one but when it first opened it was widely reported on here (look back at old threads if you want proof) people were arriving mid-morning and fastpasses were all gone, I can imagine similar would now happen with rides such as Flight of Passage.

End of the day there is a limited number of Fastpasses per day, however you decide to distribute those will be good in one person's eyes, terrible in anothers. If the system disadvantaged me I am very aware I would probably be quick to point out the flaws but my point is "Terrible" is a subjective term.

RunDMV
10-24-2017, 03:50 AM
And that is where it comes down to opinion, as clearly lots of people don't find it a terrible system. It worked relatively well for us, created some challenges but we overcame them. We very very rarely book ADRs so that was never an issue for us but I can see how that could be frustrating for you.

It will depend on how different people approach their vacation and what their priorities are. I did like the old system, it worked pretty well for us as we were quite good at getting Fastpasses under it, but at the same time the new system didn't exactly hurt us. The TSM anecdote is perhaps a historical one but when it first opened it was widely reported on here (look back at old threads if you want proof) people were arriving mid-morning and fastpasses were all gone, I can imagine similar would now happen with rides such as Flight of Passage.

End of the day there is a limited number of Fastpasses per day, however you decide to distribute those will be good in one person's eyes, terrible in anothers. If the system disadvantaged me I am very aware I would probably be quick to point out the flaws but my point is "Terrible" is a subjective term.

With regard to TSM, you moved the goal post. Your first post said FP was unavailable at rope drop. Now you say at mid morning.

Its a terrible system because of why it was created. It was NOT created to increase the guest experience. It was created for Disney to pack as many people in the park as possible by artificially spreading out the crowds and doing so with 60 days notice. Its all about the corporation and nothing about the guest. Its like an internet provider "throttling" your bandwidth so they don't have to spend money on more capacity. No one likes that.

When Walt talked about "plussing" an attraction, he referred only to increasing the guest enjoyment. Not Disney's management of the park.

Whether you realize it or not, Disney is planning and taking total control of your vacation. If you choose X attraction, you can't choose Y. If you want to eat at A time, you can't because you have a FP at B time. You have to choose 3 FPs, even if you have no plans to use them if you want a second FP for an attraction in the same tier.

FP+ is not about the guest; never was, never will be. To the Disney sycophant , that doesn't matter.

its a horrible system based upon its intention.

ThanxForNoticin
10-24-2017, 01:41 PM
FP+ is not about the guest; never was, never will be. To the Disney sycophant , that doesn't matter.

its a horrible system based upon its intention.

Your view and opinion are to be respected. But many others have a different view and opinion, and don't agree that it's a horrible system. It's not perfect, but my family certainly doesn't view it as horrible. And something I alluded to before - the FP+ system is completely OPTIONAL. If you don't like getting caught up in the FP+ system, you don't have to use it.

On a good day at one of the parks, we will probably do 8-10 attractions - and we'll use 3, maybe 4 fast passes. The standby lines work, too. But we will improve our plans during the day a bit by trying to grab a few FP in advance. It works for us.

CaptSmee
10-25-2017, 11:38 AM
We have mastered FP+. One day at the MK we made & used 10 of them 👍

ThanxForNoticin
10-25-2017, 12:32 PM
We have mastered FP+. One day at the MK we made & used 10 of them ��

That certainly sounds like a very effective use of the FP+!!!

Giggy
10-25-2017, 03:00 PM
With regard to TSM, you moved the goal post. Your first post said FP was unavailable at rope drop. Now you say at mid morning.

Its a terrible system because of why it was created. It was NOT created to increase the guest experience. It was created for Disney to pack as many people in the park as possible by artificially spreading out the crowds and doing so with 60 days notice. Its all about the corporation and nothing about the guest. Its like an internet provider "throttling" your bandwidth so they don't have to spend money on more capacity. No one likes that.

When Walt talked about "plussing" an attraction, he referred only to increasing the guest enjoyment. Not Disney's management of the park.

Whether you realize it or not, Disney is planning and taking total control of your vacation. If you choose X attraction, you can't choose Y. If you want to eat at A time, you can't because you have a FP at B time. You have to choose 3 FPs, even if you have no plans to use them if you want a second FP for an attraction in the same tier.

FP+ is not about the guest; never was, never will be. To the Disney sycophant , that doesn't matter.

its a horrible system based upon its intention.

Technically I said "if you don't arrive at rope drop you won't get a FP" in my first post, so I did not move any goal posts. ;) I recall lots of stories of people reporting long lines for a FP at rope drop but wouldn't be able to comment on whether those people all got a FP or not.

Though the main point is that "terrible" is an opinion. A fact would be to state "FP+ increased/decreased my average wait time by X minutes" or "FP+ increased/decreased my number of rides per day by Y. Obviously some people feel it is terrible, some people think it is good, some have no strong opinion - all 3 evidenced by this thread.

As to whether the motive makes it terrible. One could easily argue that original FP was made with the selfish motive of getting you to spend less time in lines and therefore more time buying food and souvenirs. That is getting into a debate of motivation versus outcome, ie: if someone does something bad but it actually helps you then is it good or bad. But that is way too philosophical for a Wednesday evening! :D

Imalismom
10-26-2017, 10:42 AM
This is how I try to set up my fast passes - note when making your fast pass, the system makes you wait at least 1 hour in-between times. I choose a 2 hour wait.

FP#1 - Tier 1, at 9am
FP#2 - at 11am
FP#3 - at 1PM

Once you have scanned your magic band (I go in at 8:55), you are cleared of the one hour wait. I then
move my FP#2 up to 9:30 (If I can't move my #2, I move my #3).

At 9:30 - once I have gotten through the magic band scan for FP #2, I then can move my last FP up in time.

This then now frees me up to booking a FP - using it, and booking another.

I have had very good success with this method.

RunDMV
10-27-2017, 08:30 PM
This is how I try to set up my fast passes - note when making your fast pass, the system makes you wait at least 1 hour in-between times. I choose a 2 hour wait.

FP#1 - Tier 1, at 9am
FP#2 - at 11am
FP#3 - at 1PM

Once you have scanned your magic band (I go in at 8:55), you are cleared of the one hour wait. I then
move my FP#2 up to 9:30 (If I can't move my #2, I move my #3).

At 9:30 - once I have gotten through the magic band scan for FP #2, I then can move my last FP up in time.

This then now frees me up to booking a FP - using it, and booking another.

I have had very good success with this method.

How can that much complication / planning be enjoyable? I do that level of planning 49 weeks a year at work. I don't want to do that on vacation.

And you left out the part that other than Tier 1, you didn't need the other FP+s anyway. On a recent trip, I couldn't get any Tier 1 FPs. I got HM, JC and PoC FPs. None of them required it. Total waste. Of course, that also dictated when I could make Table Service reservations.

Imalismom
10-28-2017, 06:59 AM
Living right by WDW helps - I really don’t have
to plan a lot :). — when you only do it a day here
or a day there.

RunDMV
10-29-2017, 05:28 PM
Living right by WDW helps - I really donít have
to plan a lot :). ó when you only do it a day here
or a day there.

And that's even worse, unless you can "plan" your one day 60 days out.

FP+ was not about the guest experience (even though some Disney egghead said it increases spontaneity), it's about spreading out the throngs so they can pack more people in the park.

Was there really a that many people clamouring for Disney to create a system that limited choices, increased confusion/frustration, and required up to the minute plans 60 days in advance? Who asked for such a horrible system?

I don't see many people who say, "This is exactly what we needed." I do see some people say, "I can tolerate it."

dlpmikki
10-30-2017, 04:42 AM
I dislike FP+ for a couple of reasons. I dislike planning so far in advance and I can see how much longer the standby lines are because of fastpass. Maybe WDW is just busier than ever (it is) but FP have made it worse. I went to Disneyland this year and used Max pass. Love that concept! You can't get anything until you are in the park but you can get a fast pass for either park no matter which you are in. Lines were nothing like as crazy and it worked well. I'm likely to be voting with my feet. I don't like WDW nearly as much as I used to and I will probably head to Disneyland if I need a Disney fix. I also had a short trip to Disneyland Paris and was shocked to find that was now better than WDW in organisation terms!

jiifigment
11-09-2017, 12:46 PM
This is SO therapeutic! I'm SO glad I'm not just frustrated alone! We haven't been to WDW in a few years. Admittedly, we had the old FP system DOWN. But I've spent the last few months planning for our January trip. I booked our dinner ressies AT 180 days out. I booked the PSD package on the day it came out. I spent the last week planning our entire trip almost down to the minute. I had studied SO LONG and SO HARD about FP+. I got up this morning at 4am made sure I had everything ready, and the MINUTE FP+ became available I started with the "hardest to get" ones and worked my way down the list.

I got exactly ZERO of the ones for which I had planned.

Wait. This is the 2nd week of January. It's supposed to be value season. And I can't even get ANY FP+ for FEA in the morning 64 days in advance? Never mind planning within my original window!

Now, I get to go back and replan all the schedules I spent so much time originally planning, just to find that now we will spend more time walking and more time watching our phones than ever before.

I just feel exhausted and defeated, and this is the most expensive WDW trip we've ever done.

I'm trying to find a bag of pixie dust...and hoping for the best, but this trip is WAY too much work.

RunDMV
11-10-2017, 08:27 AM
This is SO therapeutic! I'm SO glad I'm not just frustrated alone! We haven't been to WDW in a few years. Admittedly, we had the old FP system DOWN. But I've spent the last few months planning for our January trip. I booked our dinner ressies AT 180 days out. I booked the PSD package on the day it came out. I spent the last week planning our entire trip almost down to the minute. I had studied SO LONG and SO HARD about FP+. I got up this morning at 4am made sure I had everything ready, and the MINUTE FP+ became available I started with the "hardest to get" ones and worked my way down the list.

I got exactly ZERO of the ones for which I had planned.

Wait. This is the 2nd week of January. It's supposed to be value season. And I can't even get ANY FP+ for FEA in the morning 64 days in advance? Never mind planning within my original window!

Now, I get to go back and replan all the schedules I spent so much time originally planning, just to find that now we will spend more time walking and more time watching our phones than ever before.

I just feel exhausted and defeated, and this is the most expensive WDW trip we've ever done.

I'm trying to find a bag of pixie dust...and hoping for the best, but this trip is WAY too much work.

I feel your pain. It's a horrible system. the thread above talks about booking FPs and letting them expire so you can get another Tier 1.

dudeman1975
11-15-2017, 08:30 AM
I remember the days with standby only. Everyone was on an equal footing. There was no taking 300 people in fastpass to 1 standby. It seemed that we used to get on all the attractions back then with minimal waits. The fastpass slows down the standby lines.

Daisy'sMom
11-25-2017, 05:06 PM
There is to much planning with this new system. It reminds me of the people in the movie, Loganís Run, at the age of 30.