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  1. #196

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by JAG107 View Post
    Then there's the theming: WDI spent boatloads of cash and effort into making the elaborate queues for attractions (Indy, Roger, etc) that now get blown by when you use FP. Shame!
    And with this post I KNOW I will have a couple hate emails from a few friends...

    The reason the merge point of Indy is outside the temple is a combination of fire code and WDI. When we first did it (dusting off some cobwebs here) I want to say merge was either Station Gate and then moved to Rotunda or maybe started at Rotunda. I know it was at Rotunda because of DOSH's safety film requirement... but I can't remember if they were testing Fastpass before or after the film modification (since it all kind of came flooding downhill at the same time).

    Here's the basic story. Merge for Wheelchairs, VIP, and Fastpass was at Rotunda. Because of this the exit tunnel was blocked with a combination of wheelchairs, movie stars, and fastpass holders. The Fire Marshell came down hard on it, we closed shop. We then suggested that Merge be moved to entrance of Bat Cave because it is a common "line cut" point anyways. We figured it would "kill two birds with one stone" . People aren't dumb enough to cut the line with a CM standing there, and the next "choke point" is at the top of Bamboo Canyon so we had plenty of wiggle room to skate the code.


    WDI... WDI said "no" because they wanted the merge point outside. They wanted people to "walk through the line and be fully immersed in Disney theme instead of stuck standing in line staring at the walls out of boredom". So... ummmm... yeah... that was WDI's brilliant creative move. Thanks to them we had to re-drill Digs, re-drill marquee entrance. Even with the additional queue space Indy still uses a modified crossover to use Jungle's boathouse on busy days. And guess what... people get past Merge and go running through the temple completely ignoring the intricate theme. Then to add insult to injury, those who exit sometimes cut the line and get right back in at the Bat Cave... meanwhile everyone is standing around outside for the majority of their 75 to 90 minutes.
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  2. #197

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorD View Post
    Are you saying that Fastpass doesn't greatly effect the time one spends waiting in lines? You lost me...
    I think that if you add up the extra time to get a FP (travel to the FP machine, time to get the FP, travel to what you are going to do while you wait for your FP to become valid, travel time back to the ride) with the time you still wait, and compare that to the wait time with no FP system, then heavy FP users probably aren't gaining as much time as they think they do.

  3. #198

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by SodaInTheMorning View Post
    I think that if you add up the extra time to get a FP (travel to the FP machine, time to get the FP, travel to what you are going to do while you wait for your FP to become valid, travel time back to the ride) with the time you still wait, and compare that to the wait time with no FP system, then heavy FP users probably aren't gaining as much time as they think they do.
    You also have to account for how much longer the individual waits in standby lines due to Fastpass...

    For example... Indy never went above 45minutes the week Fastpass was down. The week before, and the week after, it averaged a 75minute line. So a portion of 30 additional minutes can logically be attributed to Fastpass... might be the whole 30, might be 20... but to go from 75 to 45 and back to 75 and the only change was Fastpass... yeah. Attendance was the roughly the same. Attractions were all up. Space reported similar numbers, as did Pirates, Splash, Thunder, Mansion... like I said those numbers were the reason Pirates and Mansion got Fastpass removed.

    So you have the time it takes to get to Fastpass, the time it takes to get to an alternate attraction and the additional time you are standing in line. Likely it is coming out even... possibly you are actually spending more time because of Fastpass... maybe less.
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  4. #199

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    To my limited knowledge no... the thought was the "flow" would be in the stores and restaurants making Disney money. TDA didn't think people would want to stand in line if they already had a Fastpass. Given this pre-determined assumption I don't think they tested flow pattern further.

    This is why I laugh when people say the system is "designed to be utilized to it's maximum potential". It was designed so you could shop and get a bite to eat. The fact that you can get a ticket and then stand in another line... that is the flaw... not the goal.
    Kind of like how they figured that people would try and avoid the water jets in the Tomorrowland fountain but they ended up getting totally soaked and using it to wash diapers.

  5. #200

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I wish I had the memo now... I'm trying to remember the exact wording. In a nutshell it said the purpose of Fastpass was to be a reservation system that would allow the Guests to plan their day, shop, and dine, without needing to wait in a line. They looked at it similar to making reservations at a restaurant. Your return time was supposed to be reflective of the current standby wait time plus some additional time due to the choice of Fastpass (if it was at 45 min your return would be in 60 min). It was initially designed for Small World Holiday.
    The thing about restaurant reservations is that EVERYONE has to have one. Anyone who shows up without one can’t get in unless someone had cancelled their reservation. And, people making reservations for dinner aren’t going to go and wait at another restaurant while they are waiting.

    If Disneyland required everyone to use FastPass, the whole system would crumble.

  6. #201

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    From my experiences before FastPass, as long as the line moved the wait times were bearable psychologically (Space always came very close to my breaking point though). I think Fastpass psychologically compounds stress in the stand-by lines because of it's increased time, it moves really slow and the guests see FP'ers riding after very little wait.

    Every time I used my Fastpass on Splash or Soarin' there would be some po'd people asking why I got to go first and it wasn't fair that they had been waiting an hour and a half, their line moved so slow and even a couple of times someone actually screamed out to the CM to stop us from going on so soon. While I was standing and waiting usually I explained the fastpass process to a few people, after which they were much less agitated and often thanked me.
    Losing FP won't get rid of crankiness or anger altogether at DL, you're always tired after 12 or so hours in the park, but people would see that everyone is in the same situation waiting in line and I would hope they'd adjust mentally for that.
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  7. #202

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by bfdf55 View Post
    The thing about restaurant reservations is that EVERYONE has to have one. Anyone who shows up without one can’t get in unless someone had cancelled their reservation. And, people making reservations for dinner aren’t going to go and wait at another restaurant while they are waiting.
    Depends on the crowd, and where you eat. Some places you can walk up but you may be there a while.

    Either way it wasn't my memo... I just read it and laughed. I was one of MANY who specifically said people would run from attraction to attraction. These days I wish I had kept that memo as a souvenir. For anyone wondering... I gave it back to Disney along with the recorded numbers I've talked about. I tacked on a note... "people aren't shopping enough".
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  8. #203

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    These days I wish I had kept that memo as a souvenir. For anyone wondering... I gave it back to Disney along with the recorded numbers I've talked about. I tacked on a note... "people aren't shopping enough".
    LMAO!!

    Skip you gotta make sure to save a copy of your posts from this FP thread and the other one. They're historical as well as hysterical!!


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  9. #204

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    LMAO!!

    Skip you gotta make sure to save a copy of your posts from this FP thread and the other one. They're historical as well as hysterical!!
    My fellow Skips will vouch for me to anyone who doesn't think I had the guts to do it, and did it. In hind sight it probably cost me Trainer or Lead... but it helped Haunted Mansion and Pirates. At the time I was tired of trying to make a flawed system work. I'm told that my willingness to be honest earned a lot of respect (and some crushed toes) from Management. When they needed something done I was one of the ones they came to. When a "big wig" wanted someone's opinion I was usually asked to leave.

    I want to stress I wasn't the only one. There were a lot of "loose cannons" among the older CM's. People may shake their heads when they read my comments. Please note my comments are the clean "Disney version. The Leads at the time had plenty more to say that was... less then clean...
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  10. #205

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by SodaInTheMorning View Post
    I think that if you add up the extra time to get a FP (travel to the FP machine, time to get the FP, travel to what you are going to do while you wait for your FP to become valid, travel time back to the ride) with the time you still wait, and compare that to the wait time with no FP system, then heavy FP users probably aren't gaining as much time as they think they do.
    Yep. And don't forget: during those times you're running around getting FPs, you're adding to the crowds out on the walkways, simply because you'd be in line for those particular rides otherwise.

    To make an extreme illustration of the two-places-at-once concept, imagine every person riding a ride with FP is using an FP; there're no standby lines whatsoever. Perhaps FP was made a requirement. And for the sake of simplicity, let's say the distribution and timing of guests arriving magically works out so post-merge queues are always no more than 15 minutes, and somehow the usual ridership could be maintained. It becomes easier to see that those guests have to be somewhere in the meantime, considering, if nothing else, the queues that would otherwise soak up many of them no longer exist. And the vast majority certainly aren't going to be waiting at home or otherwise away from the parks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasmico!
    Every time I used my Fastpass on Splash or Soarin' there would be some po'd people asking why I got to go first and it wasn't fair that they had been waiting an hour and a half, their line moved so slow and even a couple of times someone actually screamed out to the CM to stop us from going on so soon. While I was standing and waiting usually I explained the fastpass process to a few people, after which they were much less agitated and often thanked me.
    A good deed. But just think: if those people would have begun their days by spending a minute reading their park maps, where Fastpass is clearly and concisely described, they could have been educated on the matter from the get-go.
    Last edited by HighLeveller; 06-04-2009 at 10:17 PM.

  11. #206

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    To my limited knowledge no... the thought was the "flow" would be in the stores and restaurants making Disney money. TDA didn't think people would want to stand in line if they already had a Fastpass. Given this pre-determined assumption I don't think they tested flow pattern further.
    It's much more complicated than that. Disney knew that given the option people would go wait in line for more attractions. When they tested Fastpass at WDW, what they found though, was that folks would generally stick to the same area of the park. A person with a Fastpass for Space Mountain would stay in Tomorrowland and wait for their return time. This meant going to more underutilized attractions such as Carousel of Progress and Timekeeper.

    Here's a quote from an OC Register article from 1999:

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney plan: Ride while you wait - July 23, 1999 - JERRY HIRSCH
    [Kevin] Yee worries that the system will send a flood of visitors to the smaller rides, lengthening waiting times there. That might happen because the lines at the big rides suck people off the walkways and out of restaurants, shops and smaller attractions. An hour's wait for just three rides — say Indiana Jones, Space Mountain and The Matterhorn — can keep roughly 6,000 people occupied. That's more than 10 percent of Disneyland's attendance on a typical summer weekday. "These people will be waiting in line for Autopia or some other ride and, in the end, the average number of rides in a day might stay the same at around 10," said Yee. Nonetheless, Yee said Disney is smart to experiment with the system, as long as it's not afraid to drop Fastpass if it has unexpected consequences. In the Florida tests, Laval [Bruce Laval, Executive Vice President of Operations Planning and Development at the
    Walt Disney World Resort] said, the system changed the distribution of people within the park. "People go on to what you might
    consider the secondary attractions in that area of the ride they have the Fastpass for," Laval said. "We found that these were typically attractions that they didn't go on before because they were spending so much time in line.

    Nobody has the time in one day to do all 40 attractions at Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom." At the Magic Kingdom, Fastpass holders for Space Mountain would head to The Timekeeper 360-degree film, an attraction with high capacity that Laval said was "underutilized." "This does increase rides per capita by backfilling less-attended attractions," Laval said. Tests at Walt Disney World also taught Disney planners how to limit the system to obtain what they believe are the best results. Laval said tests found that a 60-minute window offered the best time span for people to leave and return.
    Clearly the intention was ALWAYS that guests would want to go ride other attractions while waiting for their Fastpasses to be up. Even the Disney press release that announced the official addition of Fastpass to Disneyland stated that:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Disney Fastpass Press Release
    The new Disney’s FASTPASSSM made its official debut at The Disneyland Resort last year as part of a phased rollout, with “it’s a small world holiday” the first Park attraction to be equipped with the timesaving feature especially for the Christmas season.
    Since then, five other Disneyland attractions have been outfitted to offer the virtual queuing program on a regular basis. These include “Space Mountain,” “Splash Mountain” and “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin,” “The Indiana Jones Adventure” and the new “Autopia.”
    Disney’s FASTPASSSM enables participating guests to receive a complimentary voucher listing a computer-assigned boarding time as an alternative to waiting in a conventional line. This allows guests more time to visit other attractions, dine or shop before returning to ride at their designated boarding time.
    The problem has more to do with how the system works at WDW versus how it works in Anaheim. In Anaheim, as you noted, folks are far more willing to walk across the park and get in line for another big ticket attraction rather than stay in the same land.

    When Fastpass initially premiered, the idea was that the Fastpass rides were located on the furthest edges of the park with the hope that the crowds would mostly stay confined to the land they were in. When that didn't happen in Anaheim, they tried a number of gimmicks to try to convince folks to stay. Space Mountain would give out Fastpasses for HISTA and Innoventions to try to keep folks in Tomorrowland. Fastpass was added to Mansion and Pirates, even though they clearly did not need it, in the hope that guests would head over to get a Fastpass from the unnetworked machines.

    It would be unfair to say that Disney didn't react and try to fix the problems that popped up with the system in Anaheim. The unfortunate truth is that they are locked into providing the service because it works well at WDW and to have it at one resort and not the other would put Disneyland at a competative disadvantage.

    There are a whole long list of reasons why it worked in WDW and not in Anaheim. The local visitor mix, the lower value of attractions in DL, the physical proximity of attractions. Tons of reasons. There's just no easy way to impliment the system here in a way that would still allow it to be marketable and competative.

  12. #207

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Liver, you make good points, things that many of us have also echoed. What would you say about enforcing the return time? It may keep people out of line still but it would also mean if someone missed their return time, that's it.

    I suppose that's a guest service night mare for those who waited in line for a ride that broke down before they were able to get on.


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  13. #208

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Liver, you make good points, things that many of us have also echoed. What would you say about enforcing the return time? It may keep people out of line still but it would also mean if someone missed their return time, that's it.

    I suppose that's a guest service night mare for those who waited in line for a ride that broke down before they were able to get on.
    I would personally love it if they could do that, but I sincerely doubt they could for the reasons that have already been said. It would create too many complaints and hatred directed at Cast Members and open the door to all kinds of complaints at City Hall.

    There are a lot of reasons why someone won't make it back by their return time. Attractions breaking down being one of the better ones. Children needing to take a nap or needing to be fed is another one.

    The problem with having a system where return times are enforced by a Cast Member is that it opens the door to inconsistency in service. If one Cast Member allows some folks in, and not others, people will complain that's not fair (no matter whether the circumstances are valid or not.) If the Cast Members at Space Mountain allow folks to return after the return time, but the CMs at Thunder do not, it creates even more problems. Having a blanket policy of allowing them all is the most efficient way of being consistent.

    And truthfully, I don't think the number of people who use this little exploit is significant enough to justify the potential harm it would cause in Guest Service. I think the vast majority of FastPass users attempt to gain admittance to an attraction the very minute their FastPass is valid.

  14. #209

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    I would personally love it if they could do that, but I sincerely doubt they could for the reasons that have already been said. It would create too many complaints and hatred directed at Cast Members and open the door to all kinds of complaints at City Hall.
    only as things transition because people expect it now to not be enforced. People don't storm city hall when a CM hands them their bill at the end of their meal. Control expectations and you'll influence results.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    There are a lot of reasons why someone won't make it back by their return time. Attractions breaking down being one of the better ones. Children needing to take a nap or needing to be fed is another one.
    The above are also reasons why you couldn't ride stand-by at the time you wanted either. People don't freat today if they don't get to use a fastpass. You have a grace window to account for people so they aren't trying to rush.. and beyond that there is simply try again or get in line. not a big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    The problem with having a system where return times are enforced by a Cast Member is that it opens the door to inconsistency in service. If one Cast Member allows some folks in, and not others, people will complain that's not fair (no matter whether the circumstances are valid or not.)
    So fix the people problem, not give up all together.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    If the Cast Members at Space Mountain allow folks to return after the return time, but the CMs at Thunder do not, it creates even more problems. Having a blanket policy of allowing them all is the most efficient way of being consistent.
    That is just not trying at all - not a solution.
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  15. #210

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    Re: FastPass - Will Disney Get Rid of It? The Latest Rumor from the Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    It's much more complicated than that. Disney knew that given the option people would go wait in line for more attractions. When they tested Fastpass at WDW, what they found though, was that folks would generally stick to the same area of the park. A person with a Fastpass for Space Mountain would stay in Tomorrowland and wait for their return time. This meant going to more underutilized attractions such as Carousel of Progress and Timekeeper.
    If you noticed I skirted that issue with my comment of the initial rollout which was Splash and Small World. Due to the fact that only 2 attractions offered Fastpass, and they were at opposite ends of the park, the effect of Fastpass on standby lines was negligible. As Fastpass "exploded" so did the wait times in Standby queues.
    Clearly the intention was ALWAYS that guests would want to go ride other attractions while waiting for their Fastpasses to be up. Even the Disney press release that announced the official addition of Fastpass to Disneyland stated that:

    The problem has more to do with how the system works at WDW versus how it works in Anaheim. In Anaheim, as you noted, folks are far more willing to walk across the park and get in line for another big ticket attraction rather than stay in the same land.
    The internal memo specifically stated the main intention was for individuals to be able to shop and dine at their leisure. Internally they wanted Fastpass to make money... some didn't think people would want to stand in line if they could get a Fastpass and be able to go right to the front. Obviously they underestimated the draw of attractions. You are also talking about the same Management team that replaced storage for "spare parts" throughout the park with storage for merchandise...

    When Fastpass initially premiered, the idea was that the Fastpass rides were located on the furthest edges of the park with the hope that the crowds would mostly stay confined to the land they were in. When that didn't happen in Anaheim, they tried a number of gimmicks to try to convince folks to stay. Space Mountain would give out Fastpasses for HISTA and Innoventions to try to keep folks in Tomorrowland. Fastpass was added to Mansion and Pirates, even though they clearly did not need it, in the hope that guests would head over to get a Fastpass from the unnetworked machines.
    I am not sure if Pirates and Mansion was networked or not. I believe it was... but I honestly can't remember. However attractions that were in fact unnetworked only added to the mess... they allowed for an additional Fastpass, at which point the Guest has no incentive to stay a standby line within that land.

    It would be unfair to say that Disney didn't react and try to fix the problems that popped up with the system in Anaheim. The unfortunate truth is that they are locked into providing the service because it works well at WDW and to have it at one resort and not the other would put Disneyland at a competitive disadvantage.
    It would be completely fair to say that Disney expanded the service within Disneyland without first properly testing it. The decision to offer Fastpass on two systems allowed individuals to hold two fastpasses thereby compounding the issue. Marketing the AAA Vacation "2 Fastpass" promotion also caused further problems. Eventually when Disney was shown hard numbers park wide they pulled back on Fastpass. So it is fair to say they greatly expanded the system without proper testing.

    There are a whole long list of reasons why it worked in WDW and not in Anaheim. The local visitor mix, the lower value of attractions in DL, the physical proximity of attractions. Tons of reasons. There's just no easy way to implement the system here in a way that would still allow it to be marketable and competitive.
    Implementing the system wasn't necessarily the issue. Expanding it was.
    Last edited by techskip; 06-05-2009 at 09:00 AM.
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