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  1. #1
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    Default Fast Pass+ My highs and lows

    We used Fast Pass+ for the first time over the marathon weekend. Before trying FP+ I had very much a wait and see attitude after trying out it out, I am kind of neutral on it. I donít love it but I donít hate it either. There are parts that worked really well, parts that didnít and parts that surprised me. Before I go into our experience, here is a little background on me and our trip style. How your family tousr the parks definitely has an impact on how you view FastPass+.

    We are Florida residents. I have two younger children (5 & 8). Last year was the first year they were both tall enough and brave enough to start riding some of the bigger rides. We live close enough that we could go to WDW every weekend but we tend to go every few months. We stay on site a minimum of 3 times a year. We go during lower (if you can say there are still ďlowerĒ) crowd seasons whenever possible. We almost always park hop. We are seldom park commandos. We are almost always go back to the resort for a while when we stay on site. We seldom pull more than 4 legacy Fast Passes in a day. Because we are local, our day is never about riding as much as we can. (Seriously my children entertained themselves taking pictures a gift shop for 45 minutes last trip!) I used to be a huge planner but I am really not so much anymore. I may plan an ADR per day but usually do it 60 days out or less. I often book an ADR as late as the morning we go to a park.

    If youíre still reading this and I havenít bored you to death yet, you might wonder why this is important to know. Itís important because this is my reality and it will color how I viewed FP+. If you are a family with older children(or no children) who spend all day in the park , use 4-7 Fast Passes per day and want to ride as much as possible, your experience is going to be very different than mine. I daresay, you will have much more negative attitude toward FP+ than me. If you went into it doubtful or negative , you are going to see more of the bad than the good. If you went into with rose colored glasses, you are going to focus on the positive more than the bad. Okay, enough set up.

    Next post Ė The Lows- What I didnít like/ didnít work for us
    Cindy aka AgentC
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  3. #2
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    Fast Pass+ --- Lows - What I didnít care for or think could be better.

    ē Disneyís overall level of technical expertise

    I have long had a problem with Disneyís technical skill. You shouldnít have to change browsers to get a website to work. Sites like Club Penguin should be able to handle volume, but these are both problems Iíve had with Disney sites so I was not surprised when I had a problem with the My Disney Experience App. In fairness I have been using the app since it was released and it has improved greatly but it still has issues.

    Example: I was with friends at Animal Kingdom and they asked me to try to book a FP+ with them. As I was signing on to the app, the in park Wi Fi dropped. After that I got numerous messages from the app that my password was wrong. Then I tried to reset and was told I didnít exist in the system and to call if I believed it was an error. Then I tried the mobile page and had the same issue. End result I couldnít book the FP+ unless I took time from my day to call them or stand in one of the FP+ lines. It wasn't busy so we rode standby but on a busy day, it would have been a problem.

    Also if you had anything outside the norm, there could be issues linking bands. I do have to say this went flawless for us. Our annual passes were linked to our bands and I can book FP+ 60 days. All our bands works and we had no issues but too many people are still having issues.

    Rating Ė Thumbs way down

    ē MDE app

    The app has improved but it still has a way to go before it is user friendly. The website is much easier to use to book FP+. Since I was very familiar with website and have used the pre FP+ version of app, I didn't have any problems with it but I shudder to think of some of my fewer techs savvy family members trying to use. Some of the way things display are just odd.
    Example- I changed a FP+ for the whole party. When I went into the app, it should person (me) with the new time. I was worried that I had somehow only changed me even though I knew I picked ďentire partyĒ. After playing around I found another screen that showed 4 FP+ booked at the correct ride.
    Rating Ė Thumbs down

    ē Tiering in Epcot & DHS / mandatory 3 FP+
    This didn't really have a negative effect on me I just didn't care for it.

    3 FP+ choices
    Having to choose 3 FP+ when you donít need them is just silly and leads to something reserved that wonít be used. At Epcot, I had a very hard time picking 3 choices. We picked Test Track as our tier items which meant we couldn't pick Soarin or Maelstrom. So what do you use the others on? Most of the other rides that day were walk ons. I would like it better if I could have just picked one.

    Tiering- This is really a problem of not having enough attractions as opposed to just a FP+ problem. I understand why they have put the tiers, but I didnít like not being able to choose two things we really wanted to ride. Now it didnít have a huge effect on our day. For us we might do the rides on a different day and hop. Or get there early and hit one on standby, but it is still annoying.

    Rating Ė Thumbs neutral.

    ē Parking
    This one probably wonít apply to most people but it was difficult for me. Since we are local, we always have a car. When you enter the parking lot, you touch your key to life the parking gate. I was encouraged to use my magic band to do it and it is very difficult to do it if you have it on your wrist. It is even hard to do it if you take your band off your wrist, since the Mickey head has to line up just right.
    Rating Ė Thumbs Down

    ē Flexibility of Fast Pass use
    One thing I really like about legacy Fast Pass was that we could use our 4 ticket and get 4 fast passes and then use them any way we wanted to. We would often take one child on a ride twice when it was something the other didnít like. We didnít try to let one child ride with another childís band and I do wonder if the cast member would just let you on or would deny you. If anyone has tried it, Iíd love to know what happened.

    Rating- Thumbs slightly down because I am just not sure how this will work.
    Cindy aka AgentC
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  4. #3
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    Fast Pass+ --- Highs - What I liked, what worked, what surprised me.

    ē Flexibility of my day
    This one really surprised me. I was expecting to have a pre plan everything or ride nothing. As I mentioned earlier, I plan a little but not a lot. As we got closer and closer to our trip, I planned one day of FP+ plus for DHS. Toy Story is always the ride my kids want to do that gets skipped when we know we canít get there early enough to get a decent Fast Pass time. Out of my 3 days, this was the only day I scheduled. About 15 days out I decided to change the day we were going to DHS and did it without a problem on the app. 3 days before we left I scheduled an additional day at Epcot.

    Hereís where the flexibility really comes in.

    The night before our DHS day, my son stayed up too late and I was concerned that an 11:30 FP was pushing it. I went into the site and even 1 day before there were some later times available but I didnít make any changes.
    The next morning it became obvious that 12:30 was not going to work. At 10:30 I checked the app and Toy Story was gone for the day. There were other options available but my daughter wanted to go to Epcot and then Magic Kingdom. So I cancelled DHS, booked MK for the afternoon and headed off to Epcot with her. When we finally made it to MK, it was wonderful to go to Enchanted Tales with Belle right way and skip the 40 minute line. Next we had some time before our Big Thunder FP+ and the kids wanted to ride the Little Mermaid ride. The wait time was 60 minutes and looking at the line might have been longer. We go in line, I pulled up the app and found FP availability for it right after our Big Thunder. I cancelled Buzz and booked Ariel. We got out of line and rode the Tea Cups, had a snack and headed to Big Thunder.

    Rating- Thumbs up and surprised. I really didnít expect it to be so easy to make changes on the fly and it was nice not to run over the park collecting Fast Passes.

    ē Availability of rides

    We had no issues here. I was able to book anything I wished and had no problem with stand by lines. Toy Story was unavailable at 10:30 same day but that is very comparable to what I would have seen on an Extra Magic Morning with traditional Fast Pass. There would have been nothing left or it would have been at the end of the evening.
    Rating- Thumbs Up

    ē Rooms/Purchase
    As others have mentioned, this worked very well. It was nice not to have to dig through purses or pockets for keys or credit cards
    Rating- Thumbs up

    ē Park Entry
    Once the kids learned how to line up the Mickey head, this made life much easier for me. Previously I was the keeper of the keys, Iíd past them out before the turnstile and collect them after. It was nice to let everyone have their band and since I do carry a small purse in the parks, if anyone got tired of wearing it, I could fasten it there or on their belt loop.
    Rating- Thumbs Up.
    Cindy aka AgentC
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  5. #4
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    I started neutral and I guess Iím ending neutral. When I look back at the rating, I have 4 thumbs down, 1 neutral and 4 thumbs up. So how do I feel overall?

    Do I love FP+? No.

    Would I rather have had more new rides? Of course

    Can I live with it? Yes, in fact there are definitely some benefits to my family based on how we tour. As an annual passholder, it is a plus to be able to say we next whatever day of the week, I want to ride Toy Story or Space Mountain or Soarin at 2 pm.

    Does it need refinements? Definitely. There is plenty of room for improvement.
    Is it going to affect my plans or change our frequency of attending? Not at all.

    We will be going again in 3 weeks. I will try to check back in after that trip and update this review. And one final warning, this review is based on how we tour. Your mileage may vary.
    Cindy aka AgentC
    INTERCOT Staff: Accommodations, Dining, Movies, TV, Music & Musicals

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentC View Post

    Fast Pass+ --- Lows - What I didnít care for or think could be better.


    3 FP+ choices
    Having to choose 3 FP+ when you donít need them is just silly and leads to something reserved that wonít be used. At Epcot, I had a very hard time picking 3 choices. We picked Test Track as our tier items which meant we couldn't pick Soarin or Maelstrom. So what do you use the others on? Most of the other rides that day were walk ons. I would like it better if I could have just picked one.

    ...this part of the FP+ always bothered me on some subconscious level. Maybe it's because anything "wasteful" ...to me ...is just 'wrong' ...for lack of a better word?

    ....we had a full contingent of FP+ reserved for each day during our Aug trip ...and to be honest ...we used ...maybe 50% of them. Some times "non-use" was because we changed up our 'what park on what day' plans at the last minute ...due to weather ...or when my wife wasn't feeling well. And other times we were just having a good time elsewhere, so we completely blew them off and stayed where we were. But regardless ...some of the FP+ reservations went unused.

    ....now ...because an unused FP+ it's not something that can be handed to someone else so that they can use it ....might play upon the subconscious as being "wasteful" ...which I guess might be natural feeling that others could also experience. But ...what I realized (after some thought) ...was that those unused FP+ reservations ...were making me feel as if they were beckoning me to stay at the park, like a magnet ...because it was part of my trip package. It was a different kind of "wasteful" feeling ...like ...I was being shortchanged if I didn't use them. It was almost as if they were trying to 'guilt me" into being in the park. THAT ...bothered me on a whole different level.

    .....don't know if anyone else has felt this way ....but ....I just got this sense of someone using subliminal suggestion as a way to lock me in to spending more time in a park.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDad View Post
    ...this part of the FP+ always bothered me on some subconscious level. Maybe it's because anything "wasteful" ...to me ...is just 'wrong' ...for lack of a better word?
    Wasteful is a good word for it. Sometimes on the old I didn't use a fast pass , so it was wasted. But I never planned to waste it where on FP+ I booked a few rides knowing I might not use them.
    Cindy aka AgentC
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  8. #7
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    Cindy, really liked your review . I actually have some of the same feelings as you and I am neutral about the whole program as well. I cannot understand how they are so inept when it comes to technology and this didn't just start with My Magic +. We have had problems with different credit cards being used for charges on the same room for years!

    My group's touring style is very similar to yours. I don't tour with kids, but we do not get early starts on our vacation days as it takes time for my Mom to get ready and we aren't morning people anyway. We always take breaks in the middle of the day. Last time we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge- Kidani and every afternoon was Happy Hour on the savanna .

    My next trip is Mother's Day weekend, so I'll see how it goes for our group as everything should be in full swing by that time.
    Christine ļoļ

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  9. #8
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    Good breakdown. What I am waiting to see is what happens during the absolute busiest times, now that everyone must use the FP+ system? Will you still have that flexibility in making last minute changes? I'm thinking no, but obviously we don't know yet. We also were not fans of being forced to choose 3.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    Cindy, really liked your review . I actually have some of the same feelings as you and I am neutral about the whole program as well. I cannot understand how they are so inept when it comes to technology and this didn't just start with My Magic +. We have had problems with different credit cards being used for charges on the same room for years!
    Thanks Christine! And the technology deficit is astounding. My son frequently complains about our computer when it is really the website he is playing on. As a corporate denizen, I must admit my company is really just starting to catch up with technology but since Disney is a media company, I expect more of them than my own!


    Quote Originally Posted by PirateLover View Post
    Good breakdown. What I am waiting to see is what happens during the absolute busiest times, now that everyone must use the FP+ system? Will you still have that flexibility in making last minute changes? I'm thinking no, but obviously we don't know yet. We also were not fans of being forced to choose 3.
    I totally agree Maryanne. We are going for the Princess 1/2 Marathon weekend. That week is a winter break for some Northeast school, President's Day Weekend is the previous weekend and of course the 1/2 Marathon weekend is going on. It will be interesting to see if the experience is different.
    Cindy aka AgentC
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  11. #10
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    Thanks, Cindy, for your review of FP+. Is it required to choose 3? Or can a person choose one or two FPs?

    Our touring style is laid back even tho we do like to be at a park at rope drop, or even already in the park (early ADR). We will not stand in line more than 30 minutes - unless we goof and get in line without checking the wait (happened 3 times in 4 or 5 trips). We're quite happy to pass on an attraction until next time.

    Tho we usually visit WDW every 3 years or so we are extremely laid back as to must do rides, altho Toy Story at DHS is one we like to do, and having the option to get FPs w/o sprinting to the attraction first thing would be awesome.

    Same with Soarin'. We rarely ride this [favorite] attraction due to lack of Legacy FPs by the time we get to Epcot (most evenings) and the need to go so far into the Land Pavilion to score the Legacy FPs. FP+ would change this.

    DH and I discussed FP+ just last night, deciding that overall it would not be that helpful nor a deal breaker, on the other hand. On our last 3 or maybe even 4 trips we only used FPs for Toy Story.

    Your review doesn't seem to change our minds any. Except for the must get 3? Does seem wasteful. At least with paper FP, you could pass it along.

    Thank you for your detailed review.

    Jan

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janmac View Post
    Thanks, Cindy, for your review of FP+. Is it required to choose 3? Or can a person choose one or two FPs?

    Our touring style is laid back even tho we do like to be at a park at rope drop, or even already in the park (early ADR). We will not stand in line more than 30 minutes - unless we goof and get in line without checking the wait (happened 3 times in 4 or 5 trips). We're quite happy to pass on an attraction until next time.

    Tho we usually visit WDW every 3 years or so we are extremely laid back as to must do rides, altho Toy Story at DHS is one we like to do, and having the option to get FPs w/o sprinting to the attraction first thing would be awesome.

    Same with Soarin'. We rarely ride this [favorite] attraction due to lack of Legacy FPs by the time we get to Epcot (most evenings) and the need to go so far into the Land Pavilion to score the Legacy FPs. FP+ would change this.

    DH and I discussed FP+ just last night, deciding that overall it would not be that helpful nor a deal breaker, on the other hand. On our last 3 or maybe even 4 trips we only used FPs for Toy Story.

    Your review doesn't seem to change our minds any. Except for the must get 3? Does seem wasteful. At least with paper FP, you could pass it along.

    Thank you for your detailed review.

    Jan
    Unfortunately for those who only want to pick one fp, you do have to pick three.
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  13. #12
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    Thumbs up

    Thank you for the helpful info. I've typically been skipping most FP+ threads, due to the numerous negative comments they contain.

    But, the title of this thread really caught my eye, so I read it, and I'm very glad I did. You have confirmed that we're not crazy since we're looking forward to our upcoming leisurely WDW vacation. Your informative reports are terrific, and are very helpful for people like us, who have never been park-commandos and enjoy leisurely days in the parks as well as the possibility of changing our daily plans at the last minute.

    We always prepare a tentative schedule, which, except for ADRs (every trip we pre-plan 3 TS meals), is subject to change. Your reports have confirmed that, even though we'll "do it our way" we will enjoy our upcoming trip as much as we have enjoyed our many trips over the past years.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences.
    Sylvia ļOļ

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janmac View Post

    Same with Soarin'. We rarely ride this [favorite] attraction due to lack of Legacy FPs by the time we get to Epcot (most evenings) and the need to go so far into the Land Pavilion to score the Legacy FPs. FP+ would change this.

    DH and I discussed FP+ just last night, deciding that overall it would not be that helpful nor a deal breaker, on the other hand. On our last 3 or maybe even 4 trips we only used FPs for Toy Story.

    Your review doesn't seem to change our minds any. Except for the must get 3? Does seem wasteful. At least with paper FP, you could pass it along.

    Thank you for your detailed review.

    Jan
    You're welcome. I agree it will probably work out the same for you or slightly ahead if it makes it easier for you to ride popular rides at night.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Thank you for the helpful info. I've typically been skipping most FP+ threads, due to the numerous negative comments they contain.

    But, the title of this thread really caught my eye, so I read it, and I'm very glad I did. You have confirmed that we're not crazy since we're looking forward to our upcoming leisurely WDW vacation. Your informative reports are terrific, and are very helpful for people like us, who have never been park-commandos and enjoy leisurely days in the parks as well as the possibility of changing our daily plans at the last minute.
    You're welcome. Glad to have helped!
    Cindy aka AgentC
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  15. #14
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    Default Good review

    Your review was helpful to me. I think you are right in stating that point of view matters a lot.

    Re the pick three: I thought that was some average that was chosen for the testing. If they are challenged in programming, asking for flexibility of 1, 2 or 3 choices may be beyond them.
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  16. #15
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    Great breakdown Cindy, thanks!
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    Best (most complete) review I've read so far. Thanks!
    Michelle

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