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  1. #136

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    I have worked at a high energy attraction at Disneyland for 4 years and Kevin is more or less correct that the FP line makes stand by longer. We are directed to not even stop fastpass at our merge point. Only the standby line is ever stopped, to let FP thru, it is never the other way around. FP always takes priority at our attraction. however we do not always run fastpass at our attraction. On a day with 37K in park we will run the fastpass line and our wait will be around 25 min. On a day with 33K in the park we will not run fastpass and our wait will range from 10-15 mintues. Obvisouly fastpass makes the wait longer for stand by.

  2. #137

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    ***This post is LONG. You have been warned ***

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    In practice, a good chunk of folks do not know they have the option to make use of the FP system (just hang out in the standby line sometimes and eavesdrop).
    Then they have failed to read the freely available park map. Who's fault is it that some helpful tips included in that map were ignored? Do we really need to be telling people that helpful stuff is written in the park map?

    People who can afford WDW vacations have good paying jobs and thus aren't complete morons. Yet, if they fail to read a park map, or fail to notice the FastPass information on the park map when they read the map, well, that's their tough nuggets IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    And many of those who do know do not know that they would need to "maximize" their use of FP in today's world, or else they will end up waiting in longer lines, including those which have no FP machines at all. In effect, you either become a FP commando, or you go on fewer rides for the day*

    * When compared to say 1996, which was pre-FastPass.
    Why are you talking like FP is the lone cause of queues being longer than 12 years ago or more, when you later mention this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    4. Add freaking capacity to the parks. Did you know Disneyland has lost probably 15 or even 25% of its ride capacity since the 1980s? Ride capacity, as much as FP, has really diminished the experience. Ditto the other parks, with some exceptions like DHS (which has added rides to its anemic 1989 lineup)
    You've written columns about how capacity can make lines longer & slower, so please stop talking like FastPass is the one & only thing that's ever affected wait times in the past decade and a half. It's over-simplification & unfair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    Thus, since there are ignorant people and half-ignorant people in the park, the portion of the day's audience actually using FP to its fullest potential is only a minority. Since only a minority is using it fully, that means the "return time" is reasonable, and the FP machines don't "run out" by noon.

    Contrast that with Tokyo Disneyland, where for some reason (culture or marketing, who knows), everyone seems to know to use FP fully. The FP machines *do* run out very quickly.

    My main contention is that FP only generates a benefit right now because there are ignorant users and half-ignorant users. If everyone became a FP commando, you'd see the machines run out quickly and return times go to the evening very very fast. And you'd see Standby lines get very long. Again, a visit to TDL will illustrate the point.
    Having been to Tokyo Disney twice, I've seen the impressive line just for a Pooh's Hunny Hunt FP, and seen as many as 5 attractions with 120+min stand-by wait times. But guess what? That happened during weekend days in late May. It was BUSY! Guess what happens on busy days? Lines are longer than usual! FP tickets fly out faster than usual!

    I can't help but get a little faceitious here because I have no idea why that's not coming up in your argument Kevin. Like with capacity, you unfairly blame FP for it all like it's the only cause. It's not. FP there is one factor among many, the biggest factor being that a gazillion people went to the TDR parks that day. There's a reason why they have the widest walkways there that I've ever seen in any park I've ever been to.

    I've also been to TDR parks on days when they aren't so busy, and guess what happens? FP tickets take a long while to sell out, much like you see at the parks in the USA. People still show up for shows insanely early, but that just shows that they've planned & prioritized their day, and really want those up front seats. People do the same thing for Fantasmic! at Disneyland. It's really not so much a function of the Japanese doing things different as it is of just how many people were in the park that day. Busy days have long lines & quick FP sell out. Lighter days don't. That's how it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    Or you could look back into history. When FP was introduced in 1999/2000, very few people took advantage of it. Those FP commandos got on 20-30 rides per day. Each year that goes by, more and more people from the general population hear from friends/relatives that they have to use FP when they visit, so the FP commandos can get less and less done.
    I think it's pretty sad that we've reached the point where we take visiting the parks so much for granted that it's turned into a competition of how many rides can you ride in a day. If it's not X or higher, the day is a total failure. Does anyone really go to Disneyland or WDW like this? I can't imagine that.

    Anytime I go to the parks, be it Disneyland, WDW, Tokyo Disney etc, I pick out a few rides that I'd like to ride, figure out how best to ride them without being stuck in line too much (via FP or just timing the arrival at some off-peak time of the day), and spend the rest of the day just enjoying the park. Honestly, isn't that the point?

    When I tell people about FP, it's usually in the context of "Space Mountain is your favorite attraction? Why not use FP for it? Then you won't be stuck in line for an hour!" "Really, you can do that? Cool, let's do it!" I don't know who has statistical competitions, but I sure wouldn't want to live like that. Blaming FP for hurting your rides per day average (sounds like batting average) just sounds nutty to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    In other words, at the moment we have an unequal playing field (in this case, on the issue of "knowledge"). Granted, making FP for fee would still be unequal, but then it would be "wealth" (which was how the system worked under Walt Disney. Having no FP at all would reward "patience", or perhaps "desire to see this blasted attraction no matter how long I have to wait!" My view is that tourists benefit the most from that scenario.
    You have clever ways of indirectly boosting your own views, such as dropping Walt's name, but if anything it's FP that rewards patience. FP allows people the freedom to not be stuck in line, but to come back at some point in time much farther away than what time they'd be riding if they stuck themselves in the Stand-By queue. It's 1:00pm, and I walk up to Space Mountain. The Stand-By wait is 55mins, but the FP return time is 5:15pm-6:15pm. I still choose to get a FP even though I'll have to wait an extra 3 hours and 20 mins before I'll be able to ride w/o waiting too much.

    I will make that choice each & every time because I'd rather spend the extra 3+ hours enjoying the park than spend an hour stuck in an outdoor queue not able to see anything else in the park but that queue. Someone else who chooses the 55min Stand-By wait, well, that's their choice. If it turns out they didn't like being stuck in line, maybe they'll choose another one. If they don't know they have a choice, then they need to take their blindfold off. Read the park map. Read the signs at the entrance of FP attractions. Ask a CM questions about FP. Don't just turn a complete blind eye and complain later.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocDar
    You know what i find odd is Joe Tourist still seems to think you have to pay for fastpasses.
    Joe Tourist needs to learn how to read his park map. That's all! Honestly, if only earning a PhD. was that easy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    We are directed to not even stop fastpass at our merge point. Only the standby line is ever stopped, to let FP thru, it is never the other way around. FP always takes priority at our attraction.
    FastPass'ers usually have been waiting much much longer than the people in Stand-By. Ergo, FP'ers have priority. Why on earth would you do it the other way around? FP is a ride reservation system. Don't have a reservation? You wait for those who do. Don't like it? Get a FP next time. No more FP's available? Then it's either wait or walk. Your choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    On a day with 37K in park we will run the fastpass line and our wait will be around 25 min. On a day with 33K in the park we will not run fastpass and our wait will range from 10-15 mintues. Obvisouly fastpass makes the wait longer for stand by.
    Hmmm...call me crazy here but maybe, just maaaaaybe having 4,000 less people in the park had something to do with it? Maybe? No, no, you're right, it was all FP's fault. How silly of me to think otherwise. Again, apologies for my faceitiousness, but seriously, let's have some common sense here.

    Now I'm going to run through these quickly...
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    1. Radically limit how many FP tickets are given out per day. At most, only have 50% of what's available now.

    2. Enforce time limits and old-day tickets via barcode. Sorry, Charlie.

    3. Find the intestinal fortitude to make FP holders actually wait 10-15 minutes, and adjust the mix at the merge point to be 50/50 rather than 80/20. All the time.

    4. Add freaking capacity to the parks. Did you know Disneyland has lost probably 15 or even 25% of its ride capacity since the 1980s? Ride capacity, as much as FP, has really diminished the experience. Ditto the other parks, with some exceptions like DHS (which has added rides to its anemic 1989 lineup)
    1. I can see how that might seem like a solution, but since they would only go that much faster, like at lightning speed, you'd be just rewarding people for getting to the gates hours before the park opened & basically removing FP for everyone else. I don't think arriving at the park at noon per se should eliminate my ability to obtain a FP, which I always have unless I go to the park on some extremely busy day. If I do that, I have to remind myself how it's not smart on multiple levels to knowingly go to the parks on a day that's likely to be extremely busy.

    2. I missed my window by 5 minutes because Mansion broke down. That's awfully harsh. Or I could say #1 was a reality and I missed the window on the FP ticket I got to the parks 2 hours early to obtain because Mansion broke down. That's even more harsh. Either way, that's harsh. Maybe one hour of the day has less FP'ers trying to use their tickets at the same time, but that's improving one hour while harshly enforcing a deadline for the other 11 or so. Not really worth it IMO.

    3. Are you forgetting FP'ers have waited MUCH longer than the Stand-By'ers, just without having been stuck in that queue? Again, it makes no sense to deliberately make them wait again for even more people who've been waiting for less time to go through the merge first.

    4. Capacity helps everyone. It helps FP'ers come back faster, it helps Stand-By wait'ers wait less. That's why I said it was a good thing for DHS's TSMM to have FP, and good for DCA's TSMM to not have FP. DHS needed an increased number of FP attractions and to have one far away from Tower & RRC's calamity corner. DCA already has too many attractions on the FP network. Who gets a FP for Mulholland Madness instead of Soarin', Screamin' or Tower?

    Whew, ok, so bottom line - FP isn't the reason why anything bad happens in a park on any given day. Multiple factors and multiple variable all combine to create the results and the guest experience. FP alone didn't burn your toast in the morning, and FP alone isn't why you're waiting 120mins in a Stand-By queue when you think you should only be waiting 60, or less. That's a pre-conceived notion you've invented in your head. Fact is if attractions are up to 80, 90, 120+ wait times, it's either a really busy day, or you're trying to ride something with very low capacity that just opened recently. FastPass adds maybe 10-15mins to a Stand-By wait at most. Capacity and daily attendance are two factors that affect wait times much more than FastPass could ever dream to.

    -- PMM
    Last edited by PeoplemoverMatt; 07-22-2008 at 11:03 PM.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  3. #138

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    You've written columns about how capacity can make lines longer & slower, so please stop talking like FastPass is the one & only thing that's ever affected wait times in the past decade and a half. It's over-simplification & unfair.
    Here's another factor that has affected wait times in recent decades: larger and larger crowds going to theme parks. Disney park attendance goes up every year. As I mentioned before, Disneyland is the perfect example. The population of California has doubled in the past 30 years, while Disneyland has become more and more dependent on the AP system. On top of that, overall ride capacity has gone down. Those are three factors working together to create a crowding crunch in Disneyland, and people want to scapegoat the FP system? LOL.

    Hmmm...call me crazy here but maybe, just maaaaaybe having 4,000 less people in the park had something to do with it? Maybe? No, no, you're right, it was all FP's fault. How silly of me to think otherwise. Again, apologies for my faceitiousness, but seriously, let's have some common sense here.
    Don't forget, they offer FP on that ride when there are four thousand more people minimum in the park. Obviously, if you're going to offer FP when the park is up to 37K, you're definitely going to offer it when the park is up to 40K+.

    You have clever ways of indirectly boosting your own views, such as dropping Walt's name, but if anything it's FP that rewards patience. FP allows people the freedom to not be stuck in line, but to come back at some point in time much farther away than what time they'd be riding if they stuck themselves in the Stand-By queue. It's 1:00pm, and I walk up to Space Mountain. The Stand-By wait is 55mins, but the FP return time is 5:15pm-6:15pm. I still choose to get a FP even though I'll have to wait an extra 3 hours and 20 mins before I'll be able to ride w/o waiting too much.
    That's a good point. I've always thought that the many people in the standby line are just too impatient to wait; they know they will ride sooner than if they took a FP and came back in an hour or two. It's like the difference between someone who has to see the latest hot movie the second it opens -- and brave the long lines at the ticket counter -- rather than a week later.

    Or, as I said before, they are in the standby line because they are waiting to use a fastpass for another ride later on. Either way, most people in the line have made an informed choice.

    FastPass'ers usually have been waiting much much longer than the people in Stand-By. Ergo, FP'ers have priority. Why on earth would you do it the other way around? FP is a ride reservation system. Don't have a reservation? You wait for those who do. Don't like it? Get a FP next time. No more FP's available? Then it's either wait or walk. Your choice.
    I want to comment on this because it may appear to some that Peoplemover is taking a harsh stance here. He is not.

    Let's break it down: Disney guests are either AP holders or tourists. The AP holders can come back anytime. There is no chance they will totally miss out on experiencing a given attraction. Tourists have a much more limited amount of time in the parks, but with any kind of planning they should be able to ride everything that they want. Usually they are at one of the resorts for a multi-day visit. If the FPs were all gone the first day cuz they showed up too late, they can show up earlier tomorrow. If they were only visiting for one day, then it's not realistic to expect that they can do everything they want in one day anyway. That has always been the case, fastpass or no fastpass. However, the exisitence of the fastpass system at least means that a one-day visitor has a much better chance of riding the hottest attractions without facing an unpalatable choice: whether to skip an attraction entirely or use up a big chunk of his very limited time waiting in line for one ride.
    Last edited by disneyfann121; 07-23-2008 at 07:13 AM.

  4. #139

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoplemoverMatt View Post
    ***This post is LONG. You have been warned ***




    Hmmm...call me crazy here but maybe, just maaaaaybe having 4,000 less people in the park had something to do with it? Maybe? No, no, you're right, it was all FP's fault. How silly of me to think otherwise. Again, apologies for my faceitiousness, but seriously, let's have some common sense here.

    -- PMM
    Actually this is where you are wrong, 4,000 people hardly affects our wait time due to the fact that we handle 2,300 people an hour and the Engineering department has done the hw to prove that. Those 4,000 will only make our wait 2-3 minutes longer on average. AND OBVIOUSLY 2-3 minutes doesnt make the difference of 10-15 minutes without fastpass to 25 minutes with fastpass. It is a mathematical fact that fastpass makes the stand by wait longer.

    If you actually worked with the system rather than just use it you would know that FP doesnt always take priorty over the stand by line. Generally 7 out of every 10 people that pass the merge point should be FP and it is normal to stop FP people at the merge point, just not at our specific attraction because of our capacity.

  5. #140

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    Alpha, if the park starts offering FPs on your attraction when it reaches 37K guests, then obviously there will be times when the number goes well over that. Once you get into 40K+, the difference is much more than 4000 guests. Thus, 37K is just the baseline. Also, if your ride is a popular one, it will draw a disproportionately high number of guests.

    I'm sure you know a lot about what goes on in your particular attraction, but we have experience with using the FP system on many rides. There have been times when I came back with a FP and found that the standby line went faster than the FP line. Yes, sometimes I actually would have gotten to the ride faster in the standby. The standby wait time for some FP attractions sometimes go down during the day, despite the returning FPers. Other times, I get in a standby line and my actual wait time is much shorter than the posted time, despite FP users going ahead of us. The truth is that all kinds of variations can and do happen, and you can't always predict the impact of the FPs.

  6. #141

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    Disneyfann I am well aware of the fact that it gets above 37K. I was using that as an example. The FP system always affects the standby line wait. I have an in depth knowledge about the system as a whole, as a guest there is only so much you know about how it really works.

  7. #142

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    It is a mathematical fact that fastpass makes the stand by wait longer.
    It's also a mathematical fact that larger crowds & busier days makes every wait longer, be it stand-by, FastPass, or otherwise. Since your ride apparently adapts its FP strategy to the crowd levels, I would think you'd have noticed this. You may disagree or think there's something wrong with how proportionally longer these wait times are, but attendance/capacity affects wait times far stronger than the simple existence of FastPass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    If you actually worked with the system rather than just use it you would know that FP doesnt always take priorty over the stand by line. Generally 7 out of every 10 people that pass the merge point should be FP and it is normal to stop FP people at the merge point, just not at our specific attraction because of our capacity.
    Since you claim to have worked with the system, you know that a TON of varability happens with exactly how that merge point is handled. If done wrong, many negative consequences can happen including, but not limited to, longer than optimal wait times in Stand-By and FP queues. Beyond that we can talk about other extraneous factors making wait times longer such as breakdowns affecting capacity, deliberate cutbacks in staff/capacity due to staff budget issues, crowd levels in busy season vs off season, etc. FP is NOT the only element in the equation.

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121
    The truth is that all kinds of variations can and do happen, and you can't always predict the impact of the FPs.
    True, but I can always predict that I'd rather have one for a ride than not. I much prefer knowing that later on I won't have to wait over walking past a ride, groaning at the posted time, and hoping it goes down sometime later.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  8. #143

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    True, but I can always predict that I'd rather have one for a ride than not. I much prefer knowing that later on I won't have to wait over walking past a ride, groaning at the posted time, and hoping it goes down sometime later.
    I agree. Having a FP is a good "insurance policy" to make sure you will be able to ride the attractions you have your heart set on.

    I was just making the point that you can't always assume that FP will increase wait times during the day -- one of the assumptions that the FP haters often make.

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    Re: Disney Fighting 'FastPass' Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121
    I was just making the point that you can't always assume that FP will increase wait times during the day -- one of the assumptions that the FP haters often make.
    Yep it happens, and they love to back it up with stuff like "Hey did you notice how this FP ride on Saturday had a 90min wait time, and then on Wednesday they turned FP off and the wait was only 35mins?? Stupid FastPass!!!" Somewhere along the line the fact that on average a lot more people are in any given park on a Saturday vs a Wednesday just gets ignored & forgotten.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

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