Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
This logic has been debunked in other threads. It's a theory based on sterile uniform conditions that don't exist. The demand load is not uniform and constant throughout the day. Just because Space Mountain was a short wait at 10am does not make your wait at 10pm any shorter because 'less people were in line' at 10am. The number of people that would have been in line between those times is not fixed.
I agree with you that the simplified argument is too reductive, and a more nuanced argument should take into account dynamic conditions: basically, how many people get in the standby line does vary based on how many are there already. If they see a long line, they opt not to wait. If they see a short line, they opt to wait.

But I submit to you that this nuanced approach ALSO calls for a system wide analysis. Let's pretend none of the FP holders are returning to Space Mtn at 11am. You are right that more people will now be attracted to the Space Mtn standby line. That will have an effect on the system. It will make lines in OTHER places go down as well, because there are more people in line for Space Mtn (extrapolated out to include the other E-Tickets). Everyone is benefiting and the park is doing great.

Fast forward to 9pm. All those hoarded FastPasses come out of pockets, FP lines back up, Standby lines slow to a crawl. Let's apply the same dynamic logic we used for the nuanced approach. People will now avoid Space Mtn standby lines, because the time has shot up.

All of that explained life in 2011 (if you buy into the argument that people hoarded FP, which I don't, but I assumed it anyway to meet your argument face to face).

Now let's look at life in 2013. With no hoarding, FP holders use their magic tickets throughout the day. Thus, Space Mtn never has that artificially fast line in the day time, but it also has no artificially slow line in the evening. But I submit to you that, on a system level, 2011 will function pretty much like 2013.

If you squeezed in 10 rides in 2011 (because you didn't know FP was free), you'll still get 10 rides in 2013.

If you got in 12 rides in 2011 (because you used FP within the alloted window), you'll still get 12 rides in 2013.

Now, the money question: if you used FP late, did you get only 12 rides in 2011? One argument says you got more like 14 rides, because you benefited from those fast standby lines at 11am but still had those FP tickets to use at 9am. I can kind of see that from a logical point of view. It might be possible that such an elite group was benefiting from an artificial loophole in the system.

But from a human/social point of view, I suspect it did not happen much. Vast numbers of people did not know they could return late for FastPass, so it was a small group of people indeed. What kind of people? I submit that they were likely locals or regulars (or both)... meaning that they did not get 14 rides that day, or even 12. They probably got more like 4 or 5, since they don't rush around and "get their money's worth".

So a local really gets on 5 rides in 2011... and will get on 5 rides in 2013.

And the actual number of such locals in 2011 was likely small enough that I bet they didn't really move the needle much on a system level. They didn't create system problems for people in 2011, and they won't in 2013 either.