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  1. #1

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    Improving the FastPass System

    There are so many threads devoted to the elimination of FastPass, but very few discuss revising the service. So, here is an opportunity to identify problems with the current system and potentially offer solutions that preserve "virtual queuing".

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Well... I'll start by saying that return times should be enforced. The Merge CM also needs to maintain the Stand By to FastPass ratio, so the Stand By line never comes to a standstill due to a surge of FastPass returns, as one person put it.

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    I would do what the other parks do, make it a privledge, not a right. Universal and Magic Mountain charge extra for Fast Pass-like dealies. This would cut down on the number of people using it, get rid of the need for the machines and clocks, and would reserve the privledge for those who really need/want it, not casual users.

    I think some of the other parks also limit the number of uses, like 4 attractions per day to avoid people just re-riding the same attraction over and over with their fast pass.

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Quote Originally Posted by Alyssa3467 View Post
    Well... I'll start by saying that return times should be enforced. The Merge CM also needs to maintain the Stand By to FastPass ratio, so the Stand By line never comes to a standstill due to a surge of FastPass returns, as one person put it.

    Agreed Alyssa, keeping true to the times listed on the pass would make it like a true system of holding your place in line. I'd like to see it broken up in smaller time increments as well, like 11:20-11:50 and making the people come during that time. It might keep the lines shorter late if people aren't holding the tickets until it is convenient for them.

    Chad

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    Agreed Alyssa, keeping true to the times listed on the pass would make it like a true system of holding your place in line. I'd like to see it broken up in smaller time increments as well, like 11:20-11:50 and making the people come during that time. It might keep the lines shorter late if people aren't holding the tickets until it is convenient for them.

    Chad
    But smaller time windows would negate the "comfort" of having a fastpass. You would be micro managing you day to fit in the fastpasses, which would make a normal fun filled day just a bit more stressful. I believe that fastpass should be a privelage and possibly have limited use. Maybe have a special deal for people actually staying at the resort hotels, much like they do at Universal Orlando.


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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    I think one of the toughest challenges with FastPass is exactly what has been addressed, enforcing the return time of the FastPass. It has been stated that you can show up after your window of return, mainly because of any number of circumstances that may have slowed you down, for example a ride breaking down or being help up by a parade.

    Ideally, no one should be admitted after the time expires on their FastPass. Unfortunately, that would not yield friendly comments from those who show up ten minutes late only to be told their FastPasses are no longer valid. However, this must be done, as allowing others to show up late hinders the effectiveness of FastPass.
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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Conceivably, if a conventional queue produces a wait time of 45 minutes, the FastPass system should provide a return time 30-45 minutes after the dispensing of the ticket, instead of hours later.

    Then, a 15-30 minute window for returning would keep guests in the vicinity so that they don't stray too far and clog the walkways. Providing interesting and unique shops and restaurants nearby would further encourage people to fully experience the particular realm of Disneyland or region of D.C.A. before moving somewhere else.

    Many of the problems are due to the fact that guests are retracing their steps.

  8. #8

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Quote Originally Posted by TomorrowlandTourist View Post
    I think one of the toughest challenges with FastPass is exactly what has been addressed, enforcing the return time of the FastPass. It has been stated that you can show up after your window of return, mainly because of any number of circumstances that may have slowed you down, for example a ride breaking down or being help up by a parade.

    Ideally, no one should be admitted after the time expires on their FastPass. Unfortunately, that would not yield friendly comments from those who show up ten minutes late only to be told their FastPasses are no longer valid. However, this must be done, as allowing others to show up late hinders the effectiveness of FastPass.
    Sounds good but such a rigid system would create more problems than it solves.

    The number of people showing up outside the time window is quite small compared to the number that show up within it or very close to it. You'd end up offending a group of people, albeit small, massively for very little gain in efficiency. Doesn't sound like a win-win, more like a win small lose big.

    Seems like more a moral(istic) solution than a pragmatic one.

  9. #9

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Conceivably, if a conventional queue produces a wait time of 45 minutes, the FastPass system should provide a return time 30-45 minutes after the dispensing of the ticket, instead of hours later.

    Then, a 15-30 minute window for returning would keep guests in the vicinity so that they don't stray too far and clog the walkways. Providing interesting and unique shops and restaurants nearby would further encourage people to fully experience the particular realm of Disneyland or region of D.C.A. before moving somewhere else.

    Many of the problems are due to the fact that guests are retracing their steps.
    Impractical (however 'Pragmatric' it might be :-). For very popular rides this would require very heavily favoring the Fastpass queue over the Standby ones which would create its own customer satisfaction problems.

    Or it would cause the fastpass queues themselves to backup to the point of becoming meaningless and having less space for them. The whole point of Fastpass to keep the Fastpass queues themselves reasonably short so that the concept of 'fast' is maintained to a reasonable degree. That is why the return times are projected and spread out through the day. It's calibrated based upon the guests per hour capacity of the attraction and desired queuing times.

    I think there is very little benefit for people avoinding waiting in a line for 15-20 minutes at a busy attraction.

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    At attractions offering FastPass tickets, I would like to see the elimination of stand-by queues, which complicate the situation and make the physical configurations of the lines awkward. There is a way for Disney to do so, but, to ascertain that solution, the company is going to have to exercise some creativity. I'm not going to provide it, myself.

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Something else I forgot to mention: get rid of the networked vs. non-networked machines nonsense. Network 'em all. Do the die-hard visitors really need another loophole to abuse?

    Tying FastPass return times to Stand By wait times sounds good in theory, but in practice, it wouldn't really work. If you were to maintain the FastPass to Stand By ratio, there would be points throughout the day where you'd have to stop issuing FastPasses.

    One thing Disney could do as a step towards improving the system would be to collect more detailed data on FastPass usage, as in how far into the window people use them, what percentage of people return, etc. Data collection could be done with a laptop and a barcode scanner at Merge. FastPasses have a barcode with I believe your ticket number on them, and surely they can use that barcode to pull up what FastPass return time you were assigned.

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Quote Originally Posted by Alyssa3467 View Post
    Well... I'll start by saying that return times should be enforced. The Merge CM also needs to maintain the Stand By to FastPass ratio, so the Stand By line never comes to a standstill due to a surge of FastPass returns, as one person put it.
    Sometimes easier said than done. Especially at attractions that have surges in their loading behavior such as Soarin'.

    Many guests think that the Fastpass is a fast(er) loading guarantee while it is more like a faster queuing pass and expect that they get ahead of Standby's all the way through the system.

    Trying to explain that to someone who already has the other fixed in their mind is difficult and a stress producer for all concerned and ends up blaming the cast member for unfairness or incompetence.

  13. #13

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    I would like to see more strategically-placed ticket dispensers at, for example, Central Plaza and the entrances to the realms of Disneyland.

  14. #14

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    If Disney were to make FastPass more of a privelege by attaching a fee to it or providing it for hotel guests, as other posters have mentioned, it would drive down the amount of people using it. Universal and Six Flags both maintain this approach, and they do not have a constant flow of guests using the service.

    This seems like a home run to me, because it doesn't significantly alter the stand-by wait times, and only a small percentage of the guests are using it, eliminating the "crowded walkway theory."

    Pragmatic's idea of eliminating stand-by queues on FastPass attractions is interesting. I think we can all agree that on retrofitted FastPass attractions, the line configurations are awkward, and can eliminate the mood created in some of the detailed lines like Indiana Jones and Roger Rabbit.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Improving the FastPass System

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    At attractions offering FastPass tickets, I would like to see the elimination of stand-by queues, which complicate the situation and make the physical configurations of the lines awkward. There is a way for Disney to do so, but, to ascertain that solution, the company is going to have to exercise some creativity. I'm not going to provide it, myself.
    Another great idea which has a lot of practical complications.

    It puts too much of a premium on people arriving on a fixed schedule within narrow time windows and over-regulates their day. Not a good idea for a day of enjoyment.

    And creates all kinds of problems working with and around the non-fastpassed systems like the vast majority of attractions and eating. Worse on busy days.

    And gives a massive advantage to people who are highly mobile and/or motivated. That's not especially good for guest relations.

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