Disney upgrades Fast Pass computers

Posted Monday, July 29, 2002 7:10 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney officials say they've upgraded the computers that run the Fast Pass virtual queue system in the Orlando theme parks. The new system if faster, and reduced the wait before the system can issue a guest another pass for another attraction.

Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.

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Monday, July 29, 2002 7:16 AM
This is very cool.

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Monday, July 29, 2002 7:56 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

It may still be some years away, but Disney will certainly be the first park to do "reservation" only rides. There will be no more "public" queues. You'll begin to plan your day at the park much like you plan your entire vacation now.

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Monday, July 29, 2002 8:40 AM
I guess the idea is that at WDW, there are plenty of rides that use fastpass, so they can afford to have shorter times between tickets. I'm not sure if that would work yet at the DLR. Maybe after Pooh and ToT open.
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Monday, July 29, 2002 8:54 AM
Yes!
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Monday, July 29, 2002 9:30 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't think planning out a day entirely is realisitc. First off, it would that take a lot of the fun out of the spontaneity of a day. Secondly, Ride wait times are so dependant on unpredictable things like breakdowns, slow ops, slow guests, etc. I think it would impossible to use only reservations and come close to being at capacity. You'll either be way over and have unhappy people, or be way under and not make good use of your investment.

Finally, I don't think people would like such a system. Having to plan when you're going to ride each ride is a little too much in details than I think most families on vacation are willing to get into. We'll see though...

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Monday, July 29, 2002 9:35 AM
It is honestly amazing what Disney has done to the industry. IMHO it seems they are always leaps and bounds ahead of any leading competitor(sp). They seem to always have the customer and their family come first and Disney only aims to please, so this addition is no suprise to me.

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Monday, July 29, 2002 10:04 AM
Sawblade5's avatar A virtual queue only park system sounds intresting. This will allow people to pay a lower price to get in the park if they don't want to ride the rides. You may see thishappen at a park one day. Some parks already have the old style wristband or ride ticket system. Just remember that It may be a bad idea becasue I tried the system before at an other park and the Q-Bot just kept on not working on me.

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Chris Knight
Jeff, Did you forget to feed the Raptor again? That Raptor is not in a good mood. See http://www.orlandosentinal.com/business/tourism/orl-asecbirds19071902jul19.story?coll=orl%2Dbusiness%2Dheadlines%2Dtourism and you know what I mean.

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Monday, July 29, 2002 10:04 AM
janfrederick's avatar I'd still rather see increased ride capacity as a solution to the waiting in line problem...

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"If the beats were made of meat then they would have to be me ..." - L.L. Cool J

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Monday, July 29, 2002 11:20 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar I agree with janfrederick. I hate the fact that admission is $40 and parks (mostly SFWoA here) know that you except to wait in line, so they don't run at full capacity. Thus, you get 30 minute lines for an SLC on a really really light day. I guess it's all a matter of supply and demand, but it constantly baffles me how much the American consumer is willing to put up with (don't get me started on software). Another prime example is the second train on S:RoS SFNE. It took 'em 11 months to get it back on. Of course my theory has always been that Six Flags' solution to having bad capacity (or bad food or bad employees etc.) is to build new rides with equally bad capacity.
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Monday, July 29, 2002 11:44 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

"Finally, I don't think people would like such a system. Having to plan when you're going to ride each ride is a little too much in details than I think most families on vacation are willing to get into. We'll see though..."

Sure people would do it - they already are to an extent with fastpass! People are willing to get a ticket and essentially reserve a spot on the ride for a certain window of time. With a two hour wait between passes it wasn't that big of deal overall - a few reserved rides a day. But with a 45 minute wait between passes, you are essentially planning ahead of time what you'd like to ride and commiting to riding those rides at certain times during your visit.

It's just one step shy of a full blown "reservations" system.

In the future I see it as part of buying your admission ticket. You'll pick rides you'd like to be guaranteed to ride and choose from available ride times - you'll be issued your own custom "fastpass" that you'll carry all day and that ride-ops will just scan to validate your entry to the ride at your assigned time. This will also show that you used your "reservation".

Perhaps a full blown reservations system is not quite the right words. It'll be more of a flip flop of today's systems. Most in a line will have reservations and a limited number of "stand-by" riders will be allowed to enter a seperate queue with no guarantee on how long they may wait.

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Dorney Park visits in 2002: 15

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Monday, July 29, 2002 12:29 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

"Fast Pass: a solution that doesn't work for a problem that never existed." - Mike Overell

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Monday, July 29, 2002 3:49 PM

To be honest, I think that if a park were to go to an all-virtual-queue system, they'd see a DECREASE in overall attendance. For instance, what's the point of "running to the park after work for a few rides" (something anyone with a good local park has done) if all the rides for the day will be accounted for by the time you get there. Even a destination park like Disney gets at least SOME business this way from the locals, after all.

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--Greg
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Monday, July 29, 2002 6:34 PM
janfrederick's avatar

Yup....forget about short lines....ever.

Besides, it's downright aggrivating to watch folks cut in front of you....fastpass or not....

Disney, do us a favor...and do away with the system. I've never had a problem waiting in their lines...they are well themed...and they have cast members taking care of the lines specifically. Also, the wait time signs are great...they usually overestimate the time...leaving you pleasantly surprised. I always thought that was a good system.

Mamoosh is right.

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"If the beats were made of meat then they would have to be me ..." - L.L. Cool J

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Monday, July 29, 2002 7:17 PM
Disney has come out and said that when they survey their customers, the majority of them are satisfied with the parks (only a stuck-up asshole would NOT be pleased with Disney), but the biggest complaint was that the lines were too long. So there WAS a problem that needed to be address, just because you may not agree that it's a problem doesnt mean that it isn't.

That only leaves the question of is FASTPASS an adequete solution for Disney. Again, certain individuals here may not like it, but the response has been overly positive. People actually dont *mind* waiting longer for their turn to ride, if they can do something else in the meanwhile.

I'm not so naive as to believe that FASTPASS in its current incarnation had NOTHING to do with increasing in-park spending, but to me it seems like a "kill tow birds with one stone" type move.

And if anyone dares to say that Disney doesnt have high capacity rides, I invite them to look at Space Mountain @ DLP, BTMR @ DL & MK, and Cali Screamin'. 'Nuff said!

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Monday, July 29, 2002 7:50 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

As usual, 2Hostyl sets the record straight! ;)

Fastpass at Disney is the most thought out, useful virtual queue system going. It works and it works well. The quote that Mamoosh added is one of my least favorite of all the quotes that get repeated around here. Again, 2Hostyl sums up my thoughts exactly - I'd rather do something else to wait out my hour in line than just stand there with hundreds of other guests packed as tight as sardines in the summer heat.

I don't understand why anybody would be against any system like this - especially one as well planned as Disney's.

GregLeg said:

"For instance, what's the point of "running to the park after work for a few rides" (something anyone with a good local park has done) if all the rides for the day will be accounted for by the time you get there."

True for smaller local parks but I doubt there's much of this at Disney World. The don't want to be a quick stop, the want to be the focus of your entire vacation (and those vacation $$$ you'll spend) - they're probably be ok with losing a relatively small percentage of casual visitors to keep the tourists on track spending those dollars.

janfredrick said:

"Besides, it's downright aggrivating to watch folks cut in front of you....fastpass or not...."

Another popular misconception of the system. I've yet to see a virtual queue at any park that lets you cut in line (ok, that crap at SFWOA last year did) but of all the current systems in place that I know of, it's not cutting. It's holding my place in line in front of you (where I'd be anyway) so that I can go do other things. When you see me slip onto a ride in front of you, I would have been there anyway (give or take a few guests) - the fastpass was just holding my place in line which it determined when I received it.

Yes that's an oversimplified version of it all but that's how it works in it's most basic form.

Those of you that hate this sort of system might have to find a new hobby, this is the future of park visits - especially at destination parks like Disney World.

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Dorney Park visits in 2002: 15

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Monday, July 29, 2002 10:53 PM

Fastpass works wonderfully. At the Disneyland Resort, the larger percentage of visitors come from the local area. Using fastpass and single rider lines, I can go at any time of the day and hit several rides even in a crowded condition.

I'm sure it does meet their buisness needs well, since if guests aren't in line for a ride, they are probably spending money on something!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 4:44 AM

At WDW I have only had good experiences with Fastpass. The only complaints I heard from others were in reference to them not having a full understanding of the system. The public is becoming more educated however.

To me, it is a convenience. There are things I like to do at parks that have nothing to do with the rides. I enjoy shopping or people watching. Getting a Fastpass allows me to do that while waiting to get on a ride.

People here keep saying, "it is still people cutting in front of me." Without a Fastpass those people would have been in front of you anyway. They got to the ride before you did. Whether they are physically in the line or not, they would still add to the overall wait time.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 5:13 AM
I think Lo-Q, Universal Express, and FastPass are all fine, as you have to go to the ride and would be waiting in line anyways. Lo-Q would be great if it was cheaper (even at 1/2 price I did not buy it at SFGadv Monday - no need). FastLane where you just pick up tickets is not as good of a system. But if it is free and available to all guests, I really do not have a problem with it (and most enthusiasts end up getting a few extra rides!).
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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:56 PM
so le tme get this stright guys, if I am with a group of friend and I slip out of line to go pee and I return that is line jumping, but if I buy this wonder ful thing called "fast pass" I can buy ths thing and go so what ever for an hour or so and come back and jump back in front of ya and all is good.

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