New Pay-to-Play Fastpass System coming soon?

Discussion in 'Trip Reports & Member Reviews' started by Tim, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    Please read Jim Hill's article, located here: then come on back to comment. Some excerpts from the Disney patent application that he referred to include (taken from Jim's article, as cited above, which took them from the patent application):

    "Spending per guest at hotels can (be used to determine) different hierarchies (for) access to Fastpass. Thus, the more that is spent by a patron, the higher the priority (they will receive) for Fastpass. Different levels and hierarchies can (then) be applicable at different hotels. Thus, (guests who stay at Disney's) more luxurious hotels can have higher priorities (to the resort's virtual queuing system)."

    " ... those visitors staying in a (Disney) resort hotel planning a visit for the next day may be granted a higher priority than those patrons (who are just) visiting the park for the day."

    "Other examples include the ability to have a patron's or user's cellular telephone or wireless device be tracked as that person moves around the facility, or defined area. For instance, this provides for locating guests or patrons and for the central facility computer to track the location of guests and patrons, and make recommendations as necessary to those persons. In an entertainment environment, when a particular attraction is non-functional for instance as a priority system or at all, the recommendations can suggest alternative attractions or activities to the patrons."
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    I have heard this rumor on and off for about 2 years now and personally, I don't like the idea of a pay to play system. Granted, if you are one of the well-to-do'ers who can afford to stay at the Grand Floridian on the Club Level, you will think this is the best thing ever. However, I don't see why the working people who can only afford to stay at a value resort should be afforded less opportunity to enjoy attractions, esp. when they may be more likely on one of their very few lifetime Disney trips. I, fortunately, get to go several times a year but I still try to see the parks through the eyes of a first-time who may not be coming back anytime soon.

    "Spending per guest at hotels can (be used to determine) different hierarchies (for) access to Fastpass. Thus, the more that is spent by a patron, the higher the priority (they will receive) for Fastpass. Different levels and hierarchies can (then) be applicable at different hotels. Thus, (guests who stay at Disney's) more luxurious hotels can have higher priorities (to the resort's virtual queuing system)."

    Does this mean that those guests who break the bank every chance they get would be afforded more opportunities than the same guest who is trying to be economical in their enjoyment (given that both stay at the same resort)? And why do the day-trippers who would be unfortunate enough to live locally seeming completely get the shaft?

    I hope this is not what Disney intends, as it does not seem very family friendly to me. Imagaine having to tell your child that "we can't go on Splash Mountain because we are not staying in an expensive enough resort."

    What would YOUR suggestions be to remedy the Fastpass system?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  3. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member


    It's not just the day-trippers and those who stay at value and moderate resorts that are going to get the shaft on this. I bet you that the DVC'ers will be getting the same treatment as the day-trippers and the off-site'rs. meaning, no access to the in-room reservation system to the FastPass system.

    I concur with the assessment made on MouseExtra that the FastPass system isn't a "family friendly" system to begin with. It was a system designed to keep people out of lines and in the post-ride shops and kiosks spending money.

    Therefore, they draw the conclusion that those people staying in value resorts will spend less money in the parks than someone who stays on the Concierge-level of the Deluxe Resort.

    This is definitely a bean-counter decision and not one that is meant to improve customer experience.

    I am one of those people who goes all out when I vacation, but now that I'm DVC I cannot do deluxe resorts anymore. But, I don't like the idea of creating a caste society at Disney. Now, if their goal is to reduce the number of guests then this will surely do a large part in making that happen
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  4. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    caste society... well put.

    i mentioned this to my wife and she had a similar reaction. i would really hate a disney trip to turn into one of the "haves" and "have-nots".
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  5. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Either leave it alone or get rid of it. To be honest, I have never been a fan of fastpass. I've been to WDW twice since they put the fastpass system in and have only used 4 fastpasses. Two of them were used to ride Kali River Rapids twice almost back to back right before I left AK for the day so I didn't walk around soaking wet for a long time. When i got the other two passes, I tried to go to other attractions while I waited for my fastpass time. But, the lines at the other rides were so long, I would have missed my fastpass time if I went on them, so I waited outside the ride I had the pass for until my time came up. To me that goes against what the pass was designed to do in the first place.

    When I was at WDW this past April, I went to the less popular attractions during the day and then went to the popular ones during extra magic hours, which at the time were between 12:00am and 3:00am. At that time of the night, I got to ride POTC and HM with no wait. Now that was fun!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  6. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    Universal has been doing this for years. But anyone could get it. You just paid more for the ticket. (and it's a you don't need a fastpass-thingie to go in the FP line)



    Personally I say scrap it. Why do you ask?

    You have to go back to WHY it was created in the first place. It wasn't for guest convenience. It was created during the Pressler Regimeâ„¢, and where did Paulie come from? The Disney Stores. So why did they make it?

    To force people out of line and (in theory at least) into the many shops & restaurants. However, as the system was learned, people figured out how to get a FP, and go to another ride standby (or regular) line, and then repeat the whole process. This is especially true at DL, which is more of a local park than WDW. (Not comparing it to the Six Flags of the world, but rather as a percentage of guests).

    The problem with the current system is that it HAS already created a caste system. Those who go to the parks FIRST thing in the morning and get the Fastpasses for the day. (plus there is the new problem with ADR and Fastpass times...) Once the system has issued them all for the day, that's it. They are done. The Safaris routinely run out of fastpasses before noon if it's busy enough.

    So a few ideas to fix the problem:

    1) Enforce the return time. If you get out of line, you don't have the right to get back where you left off later.

    2) Fastpass times should be linked to the standby time. i.e. Soarin is 180 mins, FP should be for 180 mins later. If the system allows let's say 20 passes every 5 mins, then the system should shut down once the 20 passes are distributed, and then turn back 5 mins later (assuming the queue is still 180 mins). That is a true "holding your place in line" FP. And no other FPs until the time on the ticket has elapsed.

    The computer algorithm to rate the queue length would be a little complex, but once's it's programmed, would be reasonably accurate. I know Disney has a method to guesstimate the length of the queue, and it's usually pretty accurate. it was for the subs.

    That's what I think they should do to fix it.

    And start requesting a CC to hold ADR. That'll show the 180 day planners who make multiple ressies for the same time.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  7. Craig

    Craig Member Staff Member

    here is my take:

    1. This is for marketing purposes, just like Extra Magic Hours. Disney has to keep adding value to their hotel brand.

    2. This probably will not guarantee a spot in line, just like calling 407-WDW-DINE does not guarantee a
    3. It is intriguing to include our cell phones and technology.
    4. "right to privacy" You have to put your ticket into the kiosk anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  8. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    heheh I forgot about this one: (From the Wikipedia)

    "A bug in the first implementation of Fastpass allowed guests to get a pass by using anything with a bar code. "

    I remember that in 1999. I used my Maryland Paramedic Certification* card to get FPs. Fun fun fun.

    Source: Wiki's Fastpass entry

    * yeah they're 'licensed' now. Whoohoo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  9. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    There is a difference between putting your ticket into the Kiosk and having your phone's built-in GPS tracking your every move so that Disney can send you geographically relevant data while on resort property.

    Granted, I don't care, but the privacy advocates do. They got bent out of shape about the finger scanners
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  10. jcvalenti

    jcvalenti Member

    The entire concept makes me ill. It's clear Disney's M.O. has been to force guests on property, and this scheme is just a way of forcing them to a higher property. As someone who usually finds it far more convenient to stay off property at a rental house, I'd be furious at such a system. Frankly, I think the current Fastpass system is pretty close to an ideal compromise - guarantees you a way to see the attractions you most want to see, without allowing you to "reserve" the entire experience.

    As for the privacy concerns, spend some time perusing the Electronic Frontier Foundations websites. I've worked with those guys in the past and there are many excellent reasons to be concerned about technology and privacy invasion. The concept of the parking tracking my movements is a level of interaction I'd prefer to avoid.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  11. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    I agree. Its not their right to track my exact movements within the park. If they want to track people's exact movements in the park they should do a voluntary study, not a mandatory one and give you the opportunity to opt out at any time. I think making it an option to use a cell phone or pda to hold your fastpass is an interesting idea, and I'm all for the use of technology, but there has to be limits to how the technology is used.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  12. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    interestingly enough, i never gave a thought to the cell phone as a way of following one's movements in the parks any more than the fastpass, disney dining plan, room key chargeback, photopass, etc. already track one's movements. conspiracy theories aside, disney knows where people are going and what they are doing almost every minute of the day, and if they are not sure, then they are sure to provide you with one of the myriad survey takers that you see in the parks every day. do we not kid ourselves into the thinking that when they scan your room key for extra magic hours that they are not logging that data and doing some sort of statistical analysis from it? how about every time your annual pass is scanned? same idea.

    personally, i choose to enjoy myself and not let this stuff bother me. if disney wants to know when and where i go to the bathroom, then so be it. i don't care if my movements are being tracked... i am there to have fun. remember, one can only be "victimized" if they allow themselves to be.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  13. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    I am in the same boat as Tim.

    I don't particularly care if my movements are being tracked by my cellphone. Granted, they can get more accurate tracking using the GPS chips in our phones than by the use of our passes getting scanned or gate statistics. With a GPS unit they can determine that you went into a particular store, how long you were there. If they are still requiring the cell phone GPS units to be traceable within 3 square feet, then you probably can even tell in what part of the stores you went.

    I say track me all you want. I'm interesting. Heck, give me a printout of my goings ons overlayed on a park map. It would be cool to see what asinine, inefficient ways I navigated the parks

    What I care about is that I refuse to have a phone enabled with any of these new fangled features (i.e. texting, picture mail, web services, etc). I couldn't even take advantage of any of these new Disney FastPass features even if I qualified (I won't since I'm a DVC'er).

    They should at least provide people with a usable device (with a security deposit, of course).

    Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that all those Pal Mickeys "phone home". RFID chips (what they use in the pal mickeys) are just as dangerous in the eyes of the privacy advocates as are GPS chips.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  14. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    i actually thought the same thing...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  15. PolynesianMedic

    PolynesianMedic Global Moderator Staff Member

    I look at it like this. If Disney tracking my every movement through the park, gets me a better experience, then I am all for it. Actually I don't care if they track me at all. The pay to play fastpass system, could be ok, but only if it is the same across the board. What I mean is this; If you are staying on property then you get a higher level access pass then the day trippers. This goes for the DVCer's also. You are on property, there is no reason why you can't have higher access just like the rest of us on property. The only other consideration would be to those that have annual passes. I think that they should have a higher level access also. Other then that, there should be no pay to play system. Just my .02 cents though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  16. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Yeah, I don't like the idea of pay to play, or casting out the fast passes to the higher-end resort guests. And heck...I actually stay in some of the nicer end resorts when I go up there (yes - often through my DVC - my home resort is Boardwalk, and I usually stay at Wilderness and Beach once a year - plus I stay in Grand Floridian and AK lodge every once in a while just because it's nice). I still don't think it's in the spirit of Disney. Though I don't like the marketing bent they seem to be on, I can't say I don't understand it - the world we live in today is all about retail and marketing, so why not Disney too. But there should be a limit, and crossing the line to me would be letting those who stay in nicer resorts get more benefits and priveleges in the parks as those who stay in less expensive resorts...unless they specifically pay for them (such as the private safaris or concierges that tour the park with you). Personally, I'm someone who has, and can, stay in those nicer resorts, but I often decide to spend more days at Disney by staying at a cheaper resort rather than less days at a fancy one. I would think Disney would rather have me there 30 days a year spending my money while staying at a medium level resort than being there 10 days a year in a high end resort. Considering my high-end culinary taste, they'd be losing an awful lot of nights at very expensive restaurants (Oh, Jiko...I miss you even now!). Not to mention all the gifts, shirts, etc for relatives who can't get to Disney and send me on a mission to buy them stuff every time.

    As for tracking - that really doesn't bother me. I accept that going to Disney puts me on a grid where I can be observed - between the undercovers, the cameras, the swipes of my ticket at fast pass booths and charging on my room card at food stations...they pretty much know where I am already! I'm with Ray - let me get a copy of my route when I leave the park - it'll be a cool scrapboook piece to keep for the memories ("Ah, my tracking map from 14 years ago...I remember that route!").
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  17. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    i think you hit the nail on the head. it HAS to be a level playing field. either do the same for all, or don't do anything at all. and for the love of god do not do what universal does.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  18. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    Well, I was thinking about Tim's comment on Nathan's forum about what casinos do in regards to marketing....

    This pay-to-play fastpass system is no differently than what casinos do when it comes to perks. The more money you are dropping at the casino or have the reputation or past history of dropping, the more stuff the casino throws at you to keep you from going elsewhere.

    That is what they are doing with the FastPass. If you drop alot of cash to stay at resorts like the Grand Floridian and the Animal Kingdom lodge, then they feel they should give out some perks to make sure that the next time that family comes back they stay at the same level or higher (if higher exists....aka concierge level).

    For those of us who bought DVC. We may be outlaying a lot of cash, but they no longer have to worry about whether or not we are coming back. We are locked in for around 50 years. Even if we aren't coming back, someone will be utilizing those DVC points. Another way they may view it is that we get tomorrow's deluxe accommodations at today's prices. The savings we enjoy can be put forth toward paying for that which is given for free to others.

    I'm sure Disney has done extensive research and analysis and can tell you pretty accurately, how much money someone is expected to spend during a certain period of time based on how long they are staying, where they are staying and what kind of park admission they have.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  19. Dan

    Dan Member

    I have a very simple response to this. If they do ANYTHING like what Universal has done, I'm out. I can save a boat load of money by never going there again. They're working AWFULLY hard to push me away as it is. When you combine scrapping Alien Adventure for "Stitch, the uninspired ride", the travesty that STILL is Imagination...

    The moment Universal went the pay to play route with fastpasses, thus saying that if you spend more money you get to skip the lines, I chose never to return. I was kind of forced back last year because of certain other people who wanted to go... and frankly it justified my feelings on the matter. We paid nearly DOUBLE the cost of admission for their phoney baloney fastpass thing, and most of the rides had next to no wait anyway (in the middle of the summer, in peak season, methinks they're struggling). Then for the few rides that did have a significant wait, the pass thing may have cut the wait time some, but not much. There was one time I found myself next to someone in the normal line who said how long he had been waiting, and basically it turns out that I had to wait half as long as the normal people did. This still meant a wait of about half an hour though, in a painfully slow moving line.

    It cost us a lot more and we got very little value for the money. Besides which I am COMPLETELY against this idea that if you spend more money you get to skip the line. Caste system indeed. I'm okay with Disney offering special programs for people who pay extra.. the Fantasmic dinner package , the fireworks cruise, special tours.. none of these things negatively effect the people who didn't shell out the big bucks. I mean the dinner package means that there's less space available for non dinner package guests, but I still don't have a problem with it. But taking the people who stayed at Pop Century, or whatever, and telling them that they're going to have to wait a lot longer so that the people who stayed at the Polynesian can skip ahead and ride first is simply unacceptable.

    Had I any artistic talent whatsoever I'd do a scathing cartoon about this, with Mickey Mouse brandishing a whip and keeping back the teeming masses while a few upper class looking people get to board the ride first, handing Donald Duck big wads of cash as they pass. Make that Scrooge McDuck, the money grubbing is much more his style.

    I'm REALLY hoping they don't go ahead with this. Because I'd just as rather not call it quits on Disney World. But this would be the straw that broke the camel's back. Go ahead, cheapen everything, put in gift shops at the end of EVERY single ride. Make everything a reference to the latest merchandising push, sacrifice the classic Disney heritage for the latest High School Musical sequel..

    But start lowering the quality of the experience for the budget conscious guests (who are STILL shelling out considerable money) so that the high rollers can get first crack at everything and I'll just bow out of any future trips.

    I think the Vegas comparisons are invalid, unless the free stuff the casinos give out directly penalizes others. I mean free drinks or a room upgrade or whatever don't prevent others from doing anything.

    I wouldn't really know though, I stay away from Vegas at all costs. I've NEVER understood the point of gambling, so an entire city founded on the concept of it singularly fails to interest me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  20. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member


    You are right. The vegas comparison with the FastPasses was a poor one but the only one I could think of at the time. A more accurate comparison would be if Disney was planning on passing out free tours and preferred seating to shows (i.e. Fantasmic! and Wishes) to those who paid more for accommodations. Maybe even some extra dining plan credits would fit in the comparison.

    But, I see how the FastPasses wouldn't. They are something that everyone enjoys and by giving them to "high rollers" when there are a limited amount would be like Vegas giving out room comps and free meals but telling the other non high rollers that they couldn't stay there that night or not eat there because they gave their spot away to someone who spent more money
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014

Share This Page