Category Archives: FASTPASS+ Information

Hollywood Studios and Epcot to eliminate paper fastpasses

As I reported briefly on my Twitter feed, Hollywood Studios and Epcot will be the last Walt Disney World parks to eliminate Legacy or paper Fastpasses.

Hollywood Studios will move to Fastpass+ only on January 21, 2014 and Epcot will follow suit in becoming Fastpass+ only on January 24, 2014.  My family and I have made a lot of great memories using the old system, including seeing my son grow to become our “Fastpass runner.”  Today, we finished out a great day at Hollywood Studios with a bunch of Fastpasses.  I’ll write about our fun experience later though.

Here’s a synopsis of what Fastpass+ will look like in each park:

Animal Kingdom (Choose any 3)

  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Finding Nemo
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Mickey and Minnie
  • Primeval Whirl

EPCOT

Tier One – Select 1 preference from this group

  • Illuminations – Reflections of Earth
  • Maelstrom
  • Meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy at Character Spot
  • Soarin
  • Test Track

Tier Two – Select up to 2 preferences from this group

  • Captain EO
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission:  Space
  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Hollywood Studios

Tier One:  Select 1 preference from this group

  • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
  • Fantasmic!
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!

Tier Two – Select up to 2 preferences from this group

  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The American Idol Experience
  • The Great Movie Ride
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Magic Kingdom (Choose any 3)

  • it’s a small world
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Electrical Parade
  • Meet Ariel
  • Meet Cinderella and Princess Friend (Aurora)
  • Meet Mickey Mouse
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • Meet Rapunzel and Princess Friend (Snow White)
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Wishes

I’ll be posting a full guide with touring strategies in the coming week.  Don’t be intimidated by touring with Fastpass+.  Only the Magic Kingdom provides any challenges!

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to eliminate paper Fastpasses in move to become Fastpass+ only

The zombiepocalypse has begun!  The sky is falling!  The British are coming!  Paper Fastpass is gone!  Well, going soon anyway.  Beginning January 14, the Magic Kingdom will join the Animal Kingdom in becoming a Fastpass+ ONLY park.  From January 14, 2014 onward the Magic Kingdom will no longer offer Legacy or paper Fastpass machines within the park.  Guests staying at a Walt Disney World hotel will continue to be allowed to book their Fastpass+ options up to 60 days in advance using My Disney Experience and offsite guests will be required to book and or change their Fastpass+ options within the park at kiosks only.

At this time the Magic Kingdom will allow guests to choose any 3 Fastpass+ options that are available that day in the park.

What attractions are available?

  • it’s a small world
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Electrical Parade
  • Meet Ariel
  • Meet Cinderella
  • Meet Mickey Mouse
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Wishes
  • Meet Rapunzel

Where are the kiosks located?

  • Fantasyland – Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Frontierland – Splash Mountain Fastpass machine area
  • Liberty Square – Diamond Horseshoe in the breezeway by the restrooms
  • Liberty Square – Heritage House (New)
  • Storybook Circus – Fastpass tent next to Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Tomorrowland – Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Town Square – Town Square Theater
  • Town Square – City Hall

Can I park hop with Fastpass+?

Guests must choose ONLY one park in which to use Fastpass+.  There is no park hopping with this technology, which seems like a huge mistake to me.  Why would one invest the extra couple hundred bucks for their family to park hop and not be able to use Fastpass+?   I suppose one could rope drop one park and hop to the park they plan to use the Fastpass+.

For the time being Hollywood Studios and Epcot continue to offer paper Fastpasses, but I expect to be eliminated by the end of January as well.

Walt Disney World to fully eliminate the Key to the World card this month as part of Fastpass+ rollout

This may not be breaking news to everyone, but I thought I should post the information in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere on the old interweb.

In November 2013 Walt Disney World began moving away from using the Key to the World plastic swipe card at its resorts.  The first resorts to move to Magic Band ONLY were the Pop Century and All Star Resorts.  WDW is now moving toward fully eliminating the Key to the World, which will mean that resort guests will not be able to gather paper or “Legacy” Fastpasses unless they purchased their park tickets from an outside company.  If your tickets are part of your Walt Disney World resort stay, you won’t be able to use paper Fastpass beginning with the dates below.

If a guest requests the Key to the World card in lieu of the Magic Band, they will be given an RFID capable card that will NOT function in any Fastpass machine.   Old ROOM ONLY Key to the World cards and current Annual Passes will continue to work in the paper Fastpass machines until the machines are eliminated.   I’ve heard that the goal is to fully eliminate the paper machines by Spring Break 2014.  Executive are hoping for a complete rollout by March 2014.

Here’s the  rollout dates for ‘MagicBand-only’ at Walt Disney World resorts: Continue reading Walt Disney World to fully eliminate the Key to the World card this month as part of Fastpass+ rollout

Disney’s Animal Kingdom to “test” FASTPASS+ ONLY next week!

The latest iteration of FASTPASS+ “testing” will require ALL Disney Animal Kingdom guests to use Fastpass+ ONLY.   Legacy or paper Fastpasses WILL NOT be available during this “test” phase.   Guests that are staying at a Disney resort will still be allowed to use the My Disney Experience app, while offsite  guests MUST stop by an in park kiosk the day of their visit if they wish to use the Fastpass+ system.  Offsite guests will not be issued Magic Bands, but will use their RFID enabled ticket media at the Fastpass+ Touch Points.  Any guest may opt not to use the Fastpass+ system and use the regular stand by line.

The “test” is scheduled to begin Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All guests will be able to choose any 3 of the following attractions:

  • Character Greeting at Adventurers Outpost – Mickey and Minnie
  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Primeval Whirl

Kiosks are located at:

  • Creature Comforts – outside the store
  • Disney Outfitters – outside the store
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Primeval Whirl

You can even use this “High Tech” flier to choose your FP+

Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ testing

I recommend the following touring strategy:

Continue reading Disney’s Animal Kingdom to “test” FASTPASS+ ONLY next week!

Disney’s All Star Resorts are next to be unable to receive paper Fastpass

The resort rollout that disallows paper Fastpass usage for onsite guests is continuing this week with the All Star Resorts.  Disney’s Pop Century was the first not to allow resort guests to use the Key to the World to retrieve paper Fastpasses from the machines within the parks.  It is now being followed by ALL THREE All Star Resorts.  If you check in on the dates below or after, you will receive a MagicBand only.  If you request a Key to the World, it will have the magnetic stripe on the back deactivated, so you will be unable to use it in any paper Fastpass machine.

  • All Star Sports – December 2 onward
  • All Star Music – December 4 onward
  • All Star Movies – December 6 onward
WDW – MagicBand-Only Rollout Continues at Disney’s All Star Resorts

As part of our test-and-adjust process for MyMagic+, Guests arriving at Disney’s All Star Resorts beginning December 2 will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.

  • Guests will continue to engage in MyMagic+ testing in the same way that all other resort Guests do.
  • Upon check in, Guests will receive their MagicBands if they did not receive them at home after customizing them in advance using My Disney Experience.
  • Front Desk Cast Members can provide an RF-enabled Key to the World card if a Guest requests it instead of a MagicBand. The RF-enabled Key to the World card functions the same way a MagicBand does at touch points. Guests with RF-enabled Key to the World cards will touch to enter their resort room and theme parks and water parks (with valid theme park admission), touch to pay (optional) and touch to redeem FastPass+ selections

Reactive Guest FAQs:

Why am I only getting a MagicBand and not a Key to the World card? 
As part of our test-and-adjust process with MyMagic+, we are conducting a test where Guests staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay.

If I am issued a Key to the World card can I still get FASTPASS tickets when I’m in the park in addition to the FastPass+ selections I make on My Disney Experience? 
No. Because the mag stripes are not active on Key to the World cards issued to Guests participating in this test., they will not work in FASTPASS machines. By staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you have the benefit of reserving
access to some of your favorite attractions ahead of time with Disney FastPass+ service.

Can I make FastPass+ selections for more than one park on the same day? 
You can make FastPass+ selections for only one park per day for each day of valid theme park admission.

–Anyone want to buy some old room only keys?  LOL

A couple of minor observations about Fastpass and Fastpass+ from today’s visit to Hollywood Studios

Before you pick up the torches to burn me at the stake for the earlier post that merely pointed out the EXACT flaw in Disney’s poorly engineered app, this post requires no multi-step processes, no need to print 20 pages and no high level MDE degrees.  Easy Gaston, easy boy.  Put down the club.

First.

I noticed that the Morning Extra Magic Hour crowd wasn’t allowed to retrieve Fastpasses for Toy Story Midway Mania until 9:00 a.m. and those paper Fastpasses were gone completely by 9:25 a.m.  I saw people lined up in a queue to get said FP before 9:00 a.m. (I could show you a photo, but I’m too lazy to post it right now.)  I’m not sure how long they had been there, we had a breakfast ressie and didn’t make it over there by that time.  I got my paper FP at 9:12 a.m and they ranged from 4:30 to 4:45 p.m.  Each time I stuck in an Annual Pass, it went up 5 minutes or more!

Second.

Last night I went to book THREE (Only 3, relax) Fastpass+ for Hollywood Studios.  Our goal was to do Toy Story Midway Mania, Tower of Terror and Star Tours via FP+.  The app had a listing for 7:00 p.m. TSMM FP+, so I just decided to wait until morning to see if anything else would appear.  Before the park opened, the app stated “Stand by Only” next to TSMM, so I waited.  After the park opened I booked my ONE Tears 1 FP+ and TWO Tears 2 FP+ (Down flamers down!  I didn’t go there to “game the system” or cheat poor handicapped children or any of the other silly stuff I’ve been accused of today.    Just went to have a nice day with my girls like Walt would have done).  After park opening a series of times miraculously appeared for TSMM that weren’t available the night before or even before the park opened.  I would deduce that they are holding a certain number of FP+ for guests visiting with no prior plans.  I booked a 9:45 a.m. TSMM FP+ and later exchanged my Tower of Terror over to the Great Movie Ride (Fully okay with the Disney morality police from what I’ve heard).  We had a nice time and met a number of characters and rode some rides together.  The kind of things that families WANT to do at Walt Disney World.  If I had booked the FP the night before I would have ridden at 7:00 p.m.  If I tried to book prior to park opening, nada.  If I waited patiently I could choose from a series of times that might fit my touring desires.

Third.

As I was exiting, my oldest and I wanted to check out the changes to Sid Cahuenga’s over to some sort of My Disney Experience dance zone or something.  We were pretty shocked as we entered.  Not because the $6000 Paulie Shore autographed photos were gone, but because a WDW guest was berating MDE to an apologetic Cast Member (Tough job!) and all it’s problems.  Something about how she paid good money for the vacation and the dining plan she can’t even use and is having to pay out of pocket for food or something, and couldn’t even use Fastpass machines because she’s staying at Pop Century.  You’d think I’m making this stuff up, but alas I’m not.  Not the quality experience that we became accustomed to back in 2003 when we started coming multiple times a year to play and meet characters.  It was so easy back then.  Stick in your park ticket and out comes a Fastpass (In best Samantha Brown voice).

When someone posts issues to MDE on their blog, a newspaper or nails it to a door, perhaps they are calling for change in the EXPERIENCE part of My Disney Experience.  The app is still in “testing,” maybe they can still fix this mess and stop restricting its guests from having a quality DISNEY experience.  How about just using the same, exact system they currently use, but digitally.  Get one at 9:00 for 9:40.  Get one at 9:40, another at 11:40, 1:40 etc.  When the great ones are gone, they are gone. I never missed any sleep over TSMM being out of FP when I arrived at 1:40 p.m.  Early tourist gets the Fastpass.

How I got more than 3 Fastpass+ per day and Park Hopped using Fastpass+

UPDATE:  December 13, 2013  I’ve been told by a number of people that Disney has patched this issue, bu the patch just created a new issue where the app is MUCH less responsive and often locks up when someone is trying to make a change to their choices.

UPDATE:  December 9, 2013  Two different iPhone users are reporting that Disney has finally fixed this issue on iPhone.  I’ll report soon on the status of Android phones.

I’ve debated for several weeks whether or not I should post this information.  I’ve successfully used these tips on many days in the park to test it out and make sure it works every time.  It doesn’t really benefit me personally because I’m local and can ride these attractions any time I want.

A little background first.  My brother and I have designed a few apps over the last couple of years.  They started out pretty rudimentary and have gotten better as we’ve gone along.  I won’t use this post to advertise them with links, so I’m not seen as a barker.  My role has always been to design the app and create and maintain the data while my brother does all the nerdy, techie stuff that makes it work.  After we get it completed we take the apps through Alpha and Beta testing.  I’m usually the Alpha tester.  It’s my job to see if I can break the app and make sure it functions like we designed it to do.  I usually find hundreds of issues early on before sending it to willing Beta testers to see what they find.

Disney has poured a LOT of money into it’s new MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ systems (I can’t wait until the stupid + is done.  It requires too many Shift key entries).  It’s been estimated that they have spent a BILLION dollars on all kinds of improvements whether internal or on the user end.  They have been Beta testing FP+ for months in different phases and bringing different resorts online slowly, then tweaking the options available such as the tiered system now in use at Epcot and FP+ only stays at Disney World hotels.  Their Beta testers are often off duty Cast Members.

I joined the FP+ system long after others in bloggerdom and wanted to see what it was really capable of, not just use it as it’s prescribed.  Disney wants it to only allow 3 Fastpass+ per day per person and they are even restricting that further with silly “Tiers” that guests have to choose ONE really good ride and TWO not so good ones.  So, I designated myself as Disney’s unofficial and unpaid Gamma tester (Alpha, Beta, Gamma..).  After learning how to join the system with a room only stay (not Pop Century at the time of the article) and learning to use the FP+ that was available, I wanted to begin testing to see what it COULD do.  I wanted to see if I could crack it, break it, spill chili dog on it etc…  So that leads me to this post.

I visited Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and was able to use the FP+ for 6 or more attractions in one day each time and decided it was time to test the biggest beast.  No, not Be Our Guest Dinner Reservations, I decided to take on the Magic Kingdom and its 20 or more Fastpass+ options and see how many times I could use ONE Magic Band, ONE account and ONE phone to use FP+ much more than the 3 prescribed  times in ONE DAY.  Who needs Paper Fastpasses when one person can do everything in ONE DAY with Fastpass+?

Continue reading How I got more than 3 Fastpass+ per day and Park Hopped using Fastpass+

Walt Disney World to use Magic Bands to provide proof for Extra Magic Hours

image

Beginning today, November 17, MagicBands will be used to provide proof that a guest is staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel and has morning Extra Magic Hours eligibility for that day, if choosing to attend a morning Extra Magic Hour session at a given park.  Walt Disney World Cast Members will scan the Magic Band (or rfid enabled Key to the World) before allowing guests to the Mickey Touch Points.

If you are stating at the Hilton Downtown Disney, Shades of Green or the Swan and Dolphin, you will be allowed access with a valid hotel room key.

What do you think about this change?

Hollywood Studios to become the next park to “test” tiered Fastpass+ system

Epcot recently began a “test” that allows guests to choose ONE Tier One and TWO Tier Two Fastpass+.  I wrote about that “test” recently and many people were unhappy to hear that Disney is moving forward with its plan to provide limitations on Fastpass+ usage.  Disney had stated early on that the system would be presented in a Tiered format and that eventually paper Fastpass would be eliminated from the parks.

Well, according to wdwmagic.com, the system will continue “testing” at Hollywood Studios beginning early next week.  According to their posted information, the system will be presented as follows:

Tier 1 (One selection can be made)

Tier 2 (Two selections can be made)

If I were the one being limited to one Tier 1 FP+, I would choose Toy Story Midway Mania and book it well in advance.  I would just rope drop Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and then ride Tower of Terror immediately after.  If paper Fastpass is available to you, you could use that for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, use stand by or choose single rider.

If the park is busy, the Great Movie Ride would be a good choice for one of your Tier 2 FP+ because it doesn’t offer a paper Fastpass option and can easily have a 30 minute wait.  The only other viable options to in Tier Two for me would be Star Tours and the Tower of Terror.  I wouldn’t waste my FP+ option on any of the shows.

If you have 3 Fastpass+ headliners already in your plan, DON’T change your choices!

I noticed that American Idol isn’t mentioned and it’s my opinion that many parents would prefer to use a FP+ option to pre-register their child for Jedi Training Academy.  Maybe one day Disney will see that too?

What do you think about these possible changes?

Walt Disney World to test NO HOTEL KEY stays at Pop Century Resort as a part of Fastpass+ rollout

WDW – MagicBand-Only Testing Begins at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

As part of our test-and-adjust process for MyMagic+, Guests arriving at Disney’s Pop Century Resort beginning November 14 will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.

  • Guests will continue to engage in MyMagic+ testing in the same way that all other resort Guests do.
  • Upon check in, Guests will receive their MagicBands if they did not receive them at home after customizing them in advance using My Disney Experience.
  • Front Desk Cast Members can provide an RF-enabled Key to the World card if a Guest requests it instead of a MagicBand. The RF-enabled Key to the World card functions the same way a MagicBand does at touch points. Guests with RF-enabled Key to the World cards will touch to enter their resort room and theme parks and water parks (with valid theme park admission), touch to pay (optional) and touch to redeem FastPass+ selections

Reactive Guest FAQs:

Why am I only getting a MagicBand and not a Key to the World card? 
As part of our test-and-adjust process with MyMagic+, we are conducting a test where Guests staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay.

If I am issued a Key to the World card can I still get FASTPASS tickets when I’m in the park in addition to the FastPass+ selections I make on My Disney Experience? 
No. Because the mag stripes are not active on Key to the World cards issued to Guests participating in this test., they will not work in FASTPASS machines. By staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you have the benefit of reserving
access to some of your favorite attractions ahead of time with Disney FastPass+ service.

Can I make FastPass+ selections for more than one park on the same day? 
You can make FastPass+ selections for only one park per day for each day of valid theme park admission.

KtP NOTE – Now the cries of “This stinks!” will begin, but it’s all part of the process of pushing people over to the Fastpass+ system and weaning them off the Paper Fastpass system that will be removed in 2014.
SOURCE:
This information was found on the disboards thread located here.  It appears that it came directly from the internal Cast Member site known as “The Hub.”