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  1. #1

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    Explain the FastPass "economy"

    I know there's a bajillion threads about FPes right now, but I wanted to focus this thread on one topic.

    What does having a FP system (at all) mean to guests? Who wins, who loses? What is the "economy" of FPes?

    Here are some of my thoughts, but I'm not sure if they are correct. And I'm not trying to be funny with my unusual terminology, just couldn't think of any other way to break down my thoughts. I'm really curious what people think.


    1) A FP system does not change capacity of the parks at all. There are X number of total "ride-seat"s available for all guests for all attractions per day. If you divide that number by the number of guests, you get the total number of "ride-seat"s per person per day.

    2) FP allows some guests, especially those that work really hard and know how the system works, to get more ride-seats per day than other guests. That means that other guests are now getting less ride-seats per day. (I'm disregarding whether or not guests take full advantage of their ride-seats or not - obviously, not everyone is at Disneyland to see how many attractions they can cram in.)

    3) Having a FP means you are basically waiting in line without actually having to wait in line. Which means you can do other things - eat , walk around or go on other attractions.

    4) If you have a FP and are walking around, you are increasing the crowds on the paths. If you have a FP and are on another attraction, you are basically getting two rides for the price of one.

    5) FPes mean that the length of an attraction's line is actually longer than it appears. This is because returning FP holders are constantly "cutting" (legally) in front of standby guests.

    6) Without FPes, the physical length of a line would be longer but it would move much faster, so the length in time would be the same. Queue times would be more accurate.

    7) Without FPes, crowds on the paths would decrease because more guests would be in lines.

  2. #2

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    I think, for Disney, the idea is that they are in shops and restaurants instead of lines, spending money and raising profits.

  3. #3

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Fastpass is one of those situations that I'd love to see the numbers Disney has collected to get a better read on the situation. It's a rather controversial issue on how much Fastpass contributes to overcrowding at the parks (along with APs, increases in park capacity without increases in ride capacity, etc), and part of the reason we argue about it is because we may not have all the variables to decide how successful or unsuccessful Fastpass is.

    As for your personal thoughts, 1-4 and 6 are pretty spot-on. For 5, the length is usually accurately told by the Standby wait times posted, as those take into account Fastpass arrivals (and are much more accurate now that return times are more strictly enforced), and I wouldn't necessarily say that taking away FP would cause crowds on the paths to decrease.

  4. #4

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    From a space planning standpoint, Fastpass is a boon to Disney since it means extended queues for E-tickets rarely have to be set up. Think about Indiana Jones back during its first year and how the queue would regularly reach the hub. (The first time I rode Indiana Jones the queue reached the Adventureland entrance.) Imagine how many more switchbacks the Space Mountain, Screamin', and Big Thunder queues would have if you eliminated Fastpass. Case in point is how many switchback's a medium-capacity attraction like Toy Story has. I'm almost positive they could drop 30-50% of those switchbacks if Toy Story got Fastpass.

    I like Fastpass since it allows Disney to cater to two different types of guests: guests who don't mind waiting in Stand-by queues and guests who would rather wait in the 40+ underutilized attractions, shows, restaurants, and stores throughout the resort.

    I do agree about wait time accuracy getting distorted on Fastpass attractions. However, this could partially be resolved by spacing out DAS cards, VIPs, and baby switches out like they do for Fastpass. It probably won't happen but I can dream. We really do try and send a Flik card out every 5-10 minutes to gauge the Stand-by queue wait. I also think the Leads usually do a pretty good job at guestimating Stand-by waits based on Fastpass distribution, number of cars running, how long the Stand-by queue is, Flik card data, etc. Flik cards are more to hold their guestmates accountable/provide data for their future guestimates.

  5. #5

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by CassiefRN View Post
    I think, for Disney, the idea is that they are in shops and restaurants instead of lines, spending money and raising profits.
    This is likely the thought, but what happens more often is that someone grabs a fastpass and then gets in 2-3 short attraction lines while they wait for their return time (hold a FP for Matterhorn, while waiting for then riding Pirates and HM).

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  6. #6

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    This is likely the thought, but what happens more often is that someone grabs a fastpass and then gets in 2-3 short attraction lines while they wait for their return time (hold a FP for Matterhorn, while waiting for then riding Pirates and HM).
    I agree with you on this but your example is extremely flawed
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  7. #7

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    I love FP, and since they're available pretty much equally to all guests I don't see a problem with it at all.

    It's nice to be able to plan out what you do and spend time that you'd be standing in line for select rides by instead getting a bite to eat, shopping, or riding something with a shorter queue. I don't think I would have ever rode RSR or BTMRR without FP as I prefer not to wait in line in excess of an hour.
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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    This is likely the thought, but what happens more often is that someone grabs a fastpass and then gets in 2-3 short attraction lines while they wait for their return time (hold a FP for Matterhorn, while waiting for then riding Pirates and HM).
    If only....
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  9. #9

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    I agree with you on this but your example is extremely flawed
    Quote Originally Posted by the702senior09 View Post
    If only....
    LOL! Cut me some slack... I've never been to DLR! Feel free to replace my attraction examples with your choice of E-ticket FP ride and 2 less popular, nearby attractions.

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  10. #10

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    LOL! Cut me some slack... I've never been to DLR! Feel free to replace my attraction examples with your choice of E-ticket FP ride and 2 less popular, nearby attractions.
    If you've never been to DLR why are you commenting on a thread on the Disneyland Resort page about how FP affect your park experience? Confused....
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  11. #11

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    This is likely the thought, but what happens more often is that someone grabs a fastpass and then gets in 2-3 short attraction lines while they wait for their return time (hold a FP for Matterhorn, while waiting for then riding Pirates and HM).
    But that's okay too. Even if guests aren't actively shopping or eating and are instead riding other attractions, they are increasing their satisfaction for the day, and if they leave satisfied that day they are more likely to make a return visit in the future.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by the702senior09 View Post
    If you've never been to DLR why are you commenting on a thread on the Disneyland Resort page about how FP affect your park experience? Confused....
    because this topic applies to more than just Disneyland in California




  13. #13

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by the702senior09 View Post
    If you've never been to DLR why are you commenting on a thread on the Disneyland Resort page about how FP affect your park experience? Confused....
    The OPs question was "What does having a FP system (at all) mean to guests? Who wins who loses? What is the 'economy' of FPes?" That does not appear to be a question that asks how DLRs FPs affect me directly, but rather how any FP system affects any given guest at any given venue, although DLR was clearly the primary example. I may not have been to DLR (or WDW since the ticket book days), however I have been to several amusement parks that utilize a FP system which works in the same way. This gives me a modicum of experience with FP "economy" in general.

    I did not respond to that original question, but to another poster who proposed a theory that FPs may lead to guests spending more time/money in restaurants and gift shops. I observed that many FP users instead spend that time in line for another ride. I based that statement on the DLR FP strategies posted by many MC users and FP strategy guides available online for DLR and other amusement parks (including Cedar Point, my home park).

    I hope that alleviates your confusion.

    <end >

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  14. #14

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    The OPs question was "What does having a FP system (at all) mean to guests? Who wins who loses? What is the 'economy' of FPes?" That does not appear to be a question that asks how DLRs FPs affect me directly, but rather how any FP system affects any given guest at any given venue, although DLR was clearly the primary example. I may not have been to DLR (or WDW since the ticket book days), however I have been to several amusement parks that utilize a FP system which works in the same way. This gives me a modicum of experience with FP "economy" in general.

    I did not respond to that original question, but to another poster who proposed a theory that FPs may lead to guests spending more time/money in restaurants and gift shops. I observed that many FP users instead spend that time in line for another ride. I based that statement on the DLR FP strategies posted by many MC users and FP strategy guides available online for DLR and other amusement parks (including Cedar Point, my home park).

    I hope that alleviates your confusion.

    <end >
    That makes sense. I've never been to another theme park with FP so I guess I never realized how that can add to it. I just got the feeling you were familiar with the park when you posted the first comment which is why I became confused when afterwards you said you hadn't been there.

    BTW you should go, you sound deprived if you haven't been to a Disney park in a while, lol
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  15. #15

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    Re: Explain the FastPass "economy"

    I too am confused by the posting of Attic Haunt...

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