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  1. #1

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    Reserve Rides From Home

    The Orlando Sentinel has an interview with Tom Staggs, who reveals one of the key features of NextGen: the ability to reserve rides (and character interactions) from home. It's like they do it now for restaurants, but expanded to rides, shows, and characters.

    Staggs likened it to "FastPass, but for the whole vacation."

    Now, I'll agree with Staggs that the main complaints by visitors are the lines and the fear of missing "must-ride" attractions.

    And as always, I'll wait to see how it works before I render final judgments.

    That said, I'm worried about this development. I like interactive queues (Pooh, Mansion), but I'm not in favor of FastPass for several reasons - one of which is the "scheduling" of the vacation. With this new development, the "pre-scheduled" element will skyrocket through the roof.

    I'm feeling a Clark Griswold reaction coming. "Do we budget ten minutes to hunt Hidden Mickeys in Tomorrowland before our Buzz Lightyear reservation comes due?" "Nope, sorry, Tommy - no time to examine that highly-detailed piece of theming. Gotta move! We're late for our Small World reservation!"

    I'll make a prediction right here and now, early on: this will equalize the experience for a lot of infrequent visitors. In other words, the main reason FastPass doesn't sell out early is due to a lot of folks not knowing about it. That won't be true, I think, with this new system. As a result, we are likely to see a lot less "advantage" to the ride reservation system, since EVERYONE will use it for a change. What will happen to "day-of" reservations (what we presently call FastPass) is obviously not yet known. Maybe they'll keep some around each day?

    Interesting times, indeed.

    Disney Next Generation Experience: Disney parks chief offers details about secretive Next Generation Experience project - OrlandoSentinel.com
    Kevin Yee
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    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  2. #2

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    I am witholding judgement, but I tend to not favor anything that doesn't allow for people to enjoy the moment. Parks should be sipped, enjoyed, not chugged, and a flurry.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Is this for real? (sighs). Guess all our complaining about the military-precision planning and know-how required to vacation at Disney has fallen on deaf ears. Instead we get a whole new level of complicated planning?

    I agree with your whole spiel. And I'm a die-hard fastpass user (because it seems nuts not too), even though it's completely unfair to people who don't understand how it works, people who show up at the park late, etc. I use the FP, even though it's a pain, frankly, because one of us is running all over the park grabbing those passes. Now I gotta plan and reserve in advance? Oh, for crying out loud. Can we turn the clock back to 1975 please? You know, show up whenever, walk around, get in line for a ride, enjoy chatting with friends/family and the anticipation while waiting... maybe relax a little? It's a VACATION for crying out loud. Quit making me think!

    (Oh, and I hate having to reserve the restaurants in advance too. Wish I could just wake up that morning and spontaneously decide which park we're going to, but noooooooooo...

    Um, why do you think "everyone" including the infrequent visitor will know about it? Marketing? The rep telling you about it on the phone when you make your hotel/restaurant reservations?

  4. #4

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    I don't think this is going to work out to well. If this becomes successful, then what about all of the people who don't make reservations? They'll have to stand in 1 line four hours just because everyone who made reservations get to ride it first. I don't mind the interactive ques, but upgrading the fast pass system is going to far. Fastpasses slow down lines enough already. We don't need a more complex fastpass system to makes lines even longer. They don't need to fix what isn't broken. People rode most of the rides in the past in 1 day regardless of lines. Last time I went, I rode everything except Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. In 1 day. It's not that difficult.

  5. #5

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Doesn't this destroy the spontaneity of it all? I'm not sure I like this.

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  6. #6

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    In addition to scheduling meals, we'll have to plan our attraction itinerary before we leave home too?

    Going to DisneyWorld for a week? Better take an extra week of vacation beforehand just to plan the visit!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Quote Originally Posted by BC_DisneyGeek View Post
    In addition to scheduling meals, we'll have to plan our attraction itinerary before we leave home too?

    Going to DisneyWorld for a week? Better take an extra week of vacation beforehand just to plan the visit!
    It's not really that hard. I usually plan my trips to WDW and DL ahead of time. As long as you know how busy a park will be ahead of time, which is something you can find out using multiple tools available online, you can easily plan out a good part of your day.

    The other benefit of this is due to that half an hour you've spent planning before your vacation, you'll only spend a good half a day in the park before you will have completed everything you want, therefore, you will have half a day left to do whatever you want.

    This may be harder to do with Children, but if you're solo or an adult couple, or even with older children, this is a great way to maximize your time. (Albeit not such a great thing if Disney is the one handing out reservations. As above posters have mentioned, this will be used a great deal more than FP, meaning it will take longer to do everything)

  8. #8

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I'm feeling a Clark Griswold reaction coming. "Do we budget ten minutes to hunt Hidden Mickeys in Tomorrowland before our Buzz Lightyear reservation comes due?" "Nope, sorry, Tommy - no time to examine that highly-detailed piece of theming. Gotta move! We're late for our Small World reservation!"
    Bingo. From the Disneyland forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by taagsmash View Post
    "Sorry kids, I know you want to do Space Mountain first but 3 months ago I was thinking we should start off with Small World. Whats that?! You want Splash Mountain too!? You should have mentioned that...I didn't book it. We could always go there on a whim, but we really don't have time, as we'll miss the rides we're already scheduled for."
    Kudos to Tom, though... perceiving theme park customers as just-in-time shipping units a la FedEx and Amazon.com so as to maximize the speed of their flow through your sales plant is creatively brilliant.

    The kind of creativity one expects of a Chief Financial Officer.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Just don't schedule on two attractions that are on opposite sides of the park back to back. You gotta love how Disney is providing tools for guests to work even harder on their vacation.

  10. #10

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Just imagine the fury when an attraction goes 101! So much for early booking, guess you should have picked a different ride!
    In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate.

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  11. #11

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    I think the real fury will be from the minority who show up at the parks (they are staying at a hotel on 192) and will find that all the "big" rides are completely sold out... the way it happens now with sit-down restaurants.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  12. #12

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I think the real fury will be from the minority who show up at the parks (they are staying at a hotel on 192) and will find that all the "big" rides are completely sold out... the way it happens now with sit-down restaurants.

    This is what i would be worried about if they could actually sell out a ride so to speak.

  13. #13

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    I really think this won't get in the way of the daily park lines and fast passes.

    For example. I'm waiting in line for Space Mountain. I see someone use their Fast Pass and they go down the fast pass line to get on it first. Here comes a person with a reservation for an hour block for Space Mountain. They go directly into the Fast Pass line and it doesn't really stop me from getting on the ride.

    This may just be another person or family standing in front of me in "line".

    That doesn't bother me. That's how I think this system will work. I don't think there will be less fast passes for the park to distribute. There will just be more traffic for FastPass, creating a wait that may be an extra minute or so, depending how many people are there right when I'm standing in line.

    Remember, if they follow the hour block rule, a family has a Space Mountain reservation for 2pm, I get there around 2:14pm with my own fast pass and they come around the 2:45pm slot, well it doesn't bother me at all. If they come a minute before me, well I would expect that. I expect someone else using a Fast Pass system method to get in the same line.

    I just don't think this is a problem or a hassle. It's just moving some people who would have stayed in the long 3o plus minute long lines and shuffle them into the Fast Pass line. The fast Pass line becomes a few minutes longer and the longer line itself should become less of a wait.

    As for the drama of "sorry kids, we booked small world and we have to ride it at 2pm, we can't do that other thing because we have to be at small world at 2pm and we're on the other side of the park". We'll I can only assume that this will be yet another hassle to the vacation and we all know hardly anyone visiting disney theme parks stick to a strict schedule.

    If I miss my Fast Pass window for 2pm I never have a problem going around 4pm to use my 2pm fastpass. They always understand that something kept me from being there at 2pm. I suspect there will be some families who will make their reserved ride times while others will ride it later during another hour block.

    I don't believe this fast pass reservation will be as strict as dining since no one is paying for rides.

  14. #14

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I think the real fury will be from the minority who show up at the parks (they are staying at a hotel on 192) and will find that all the "big" rides are completely sold out... the way it happens now with sit-down restaurants.
    Yes. Also, I think that the "infrequent visitor" in general won't want to be bothered with this system. At least that's my experience. When I give people advice (do this, do that, ride this first, get that fp first, then that one etc etc etc), they don't have the patience for it all. It's like "whatever, we're just going to show up and do what we want". Then it's "We didn't have a good time. We waited an hour and a half for splash mountain and it wasn't worth it". Ugh! I really think this is going to be another "thing" that benefits the savvy control freaks (like myself) and hurts everybody else.

  15. #15

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    Re: Reserve Rides From Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    I really think this won't get in the way of the daily park lines and fast passes.

    For example. I'm waiting in line for Space Mountain. I see someone use their Fast Pass and they go down the fast pass line to get on it first. Here comes a person with a reservation for an hour block for Space Mountain. They go directly into the Fast Pass line and it doesn't really stop me from getting on the ride.

    This may just be another person or family standing in front of me in "line".

    That doesn't bother me. That's how I think this system will work. I don't think there will be less fast passes for the park to distribute. There will just be more traffic for FastPass, creating a wait that may be an extra minute or so, depending how many people are there right when I'm standing in line.

    Remember, if they follow the hour block rule, a family has a Space Mountain reservation for 2pm, I get there around 2:14pm with my own fast pass and they come around the 2:45pm slot, well it doesn't bother me at all. If they come a minute before me, well I would expect that. I expect someone else using a Fast Pass system method to get in the same line.

    I just don't think this is a problem or a hassle. It's just moving some people who would have stayed in the long 3o plus minute long lines and shuffle them into the Fast Pass line. The fast Pass line becomes a few minutes longer and the longer line itself should become less of a wait.

    As for the drama of "sorry kids, we booked small world and we have to ride it at 2pm, we can't do that other thing because we have to be at small world at 2pm and we're on the other side of the park". We'll I can only assume that this will be yet another hassle to the vacation and we all know hardly anyone visiting disney theme parks stick to a strict schedule.

    If I miss my Fast Pass window for 2pm I never have a problem going around 4pm to use my 2pm fastpass. They always understand that something kept me from being there at 2pm. I suspect there will be some families who will make their reserved ride times while others will ride it later during another hour block.

    I don't believe this fast pass reservation will be as strict as dining since no one is paying for rides.
    Hmm. Interesting. A lot will depend on how they implement this thing. If what you're saying is true, and people who have reservations get in the fastpass line, then the fp line will be longer than it typically is now and the regular line will be shorter than it typically is now. You're saying by a few minutes. I think it would be a great deal more than a few minutes, depending on how many "per hour" reservations they give away. I'm betting more than a few, or why bother? As it is, sometimes the fp line can be very long...

    It's all so convoluted

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