Those in the know realize that the Disney Fast Pass system is one of the best ways to ensure that you can experience as many attractions and rides as possible when you visit any of the Disney parks. You simply go to the Fast Pass kiosk of any designated attraction and get a Fast Pass which shows a specific time window when you can go back and use the Fast Pass line. It can save you hours spent in line and can enable you to see many more attractions in a day.
Photos by armadillo444
It used to be that even though the time on your Fast Pass said 1pm to 2pm if you arrived at the attraction at 2.30 or even 8.30 the Cast Member would cheerfully wave you to the Fast Pass line with a smile. Some guests even stretched the rules as far as they would go (too far for many including me) and used a Fast Pass on a different day.
But change came on March 7th when Disney told Cast Members that they have to do everything they can, in the nicest possible way, to enforce the times on the Fast Pass.
So now, if your toddler can’t make it in time to the attraction, or you miss time your entrance because lunch was more leisurely than you thought, or simply because you just got there late, a Cast Member is encouraged to enforce the rules. They won’t tell you no. Disney Cast Members are trained not to use that word or that direct sentiment. But if you are not in the know then their kind words of explanation about how you have missed your time may leave you disappointed. And headed for that 90 minute line instead.
The Fast Pass has it’s good and bad points. It does cut down wait times in the present system. But the present system perhaps really needs a complete overhaul. Disney wants to encourage us all to plan ahead. There have been many rumors about a possible xPass. This would allow guests to plan not only dining and shows ahead of time, but also to schedule ride and attraction times.
Rumors are rumors and of course not many people know the details of the discussions about this. But it seems likely that the xPass would be for Disney hotel resort guests, and likely it would add more money onto their bill. I am often a Disney resort guest and love the Disney hotels, but I also live 5 minutes down the road for much of the time and spent many many thousands of dollars per year on Disney. So should I when I am a not a Disney guest, just a Disney park attendee be a second class guest in the parks because I am not staying in a Disney hotel?
If an xPass is only given to Disney resort guests then it will mean longer lines for the rest of us. More xPass simply means less Fast Passes. There is a rumor that at first the xPass will only be available to guests at the Disney deluxe resorts so creating a 2 tier system even of Disney resort guests.
Any effort to make the guest experience better for everyone at the parks should be welcomed. But the xPass ideas that are rumored just seem to make it better for those with the most money who are Disney resort guests. Not a step forward in my view.
Perhaps the company should ask what Walt Disney would have done. The great man whose dream built this empire felt that the Disney theme park experience should be for everyone. He once said that parking in a Disney parking lot should never be more than 50 cents (it is now $14).
I am not under the illusion that this theme park for all principle is or can be one which is adhered to in these times (and probably wasn’t in Walt’s either). But I do believe that Disney is a company and a name which should look to it’s founder for it’s basic principles. Let Universal have their high priced Express Pass to let those prepared to pay for it get ahead. Disney should stay away from such schemes for the good of every visitor not just the ones able and prepared to pay.
What do you think? Would you pay for more for a system which allowed you to spend less time in line? LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW.
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.