Haven’t They Always Enforced This?
Well, sometimes. Disney cast members have long been known to be lax on enforcing the FASTPASS return window. In very busy traffic times, the return window might have been more staunchly enforced than it was during slow traffic times.
However Disney cast members will now be enforcing the one-hour window all of the time.
How Does FASTPASS Work?
Since 1999 FASTPASS has allowed Disney theme park guests to “reserve” a ride time on their favorite rides. Ticket kiosks are set up next to the theme park ride. Guests insert their park ticket, and are given a time when they can return to the attraction and ride without waiting in line with the general public. There is no charge for the service.
The FASTPASS ticket gives guests a one-hour window during which they must return to bypass the general public line.
OK, So What is Going On?
The FASTPASS decision seems eerily similar to Disney’s decision to create new charges at restaurants for guests who fail to show up for a reservation. As I suggested previously with regard to the restaurant reservation decision,
the FASTPASS rule enforcement aids guests who show up on time and only affects those who try to skirt the system.
In total I think this is a great decision for guests. For anyone who has ever been in the FASTPASS line for Splash Mountain watching guests ahead of them be let onto the ride despite showing up outside of their time window, this should come as welcome news. It’s an annoyance to those who try to be courteous and follow Disney’s guidelines, to see others who do not follow the rules be given preferential treatment.
The new enforcement may also be related to Disney’s future resort guest reservation system. The Orlando Sentinel reported in February 2011 that Disney will implement a ride reservation system for resort guests, and will also allow guests to completely bypass the hotel check-in desk. An entire FASTPASS vacation may become a reality, with future guests able to reserve everything from restaurant seating to attraction ride times from their home computers.
Disney estimates the budget for the future reservation system at $1 billion.
How do you feel about the new FASTPASS return window enforcement? Will it change your touring plans? For an enjoyable read, checkout Fasspasses and Worms in Dirt – Adventures in Vacationing at Walt Disney World with Young Children by Scott Ellzey. It should hit close to home for WDW lovers!