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.