Fastpass return time enforcement

Sunday, February 12, 2012 3:49 PM

Could we say that Disney's failure to enforce led to more abuse?

No, because there was nothing to abuse. The policy was simple: you could return anytime from the beginning of your window to the end of the operating day, with almost no limitations. As an aside, that will remain the policy at Disneyland, at least for now.

You are barking up the wrong tree with ADA. The GAC is the mechanism that the domestic Disney parks use to deal with various disabilities. It is entirely separate from Fastpass, and---depending on precisely the accommodation required---acts essentially as an everlasting fast pass. Anyone who wants to scheme the system using the ADA as a shield would do so through a GAC, and will continue to do so after return times are enforced in Florida.

So stop already.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, February 12, 2012 3:49 PM
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Sunday, February 12, 2012 4:21 PM

Brian:

While appreciate your opinion...typical conversation does not end with telling somebody to "stop already.". If you have evidence that Disney does not need to comply with the ADA...by all means present it. Or run a quick Google search to see how many times Disney has been sued under the ADA. It most certainly is the law of the land and Disney will either follow it voluntarily or via court order.

GAC is one means of how Disney complies with the ADA...but the law of the land is not concerned with Disney's means for achieving compliance. The law is only concerned that the law is followed.

Disney's GAC can say whatever Disney wants it to say. For the record, most observers believe Disney goes well beyond ADA requirements most of the time.

Because of ADA Disney cannot make a policy that interferes with a disabled persons ability to access their attractions. If GAC is the means by which they address the policy...fine. But it is the ADA that forces Disney to extend drop dead times.

As for your assertion that the policy was that you could return any time you wanted...that is simply wrong. Read the memo that Jeff linked to.

"Disney went on to remind cast members that this is not a change, but a reminder of the existing policy."

The policy has ALWAYS been that guests should return by the time printed on the Fastpass. They simply have not enforced their own policy. My opinion is they have not enforced policy because they know the problems this creates.

Now they have a new system coming that they have invested a lot of time, money, and effort in implementing...they want to enforce the policy to make the transition and continued operations easy. This all makes sense.

My only assertion is that the old and new system are easily "schemed" because of weaknesses inherent with complying with the ADA. There is disagreement about how large the scope and magnitude of the scheming will be.

As for your GAC...that would be the simplest means for a schemer to get around drop dead return times. Go to Guest Services early in the day and get your GAC to say "please excuse Johnny and all members of his party from the return times on their Fastpasses." Voila...ADA compliant...schemer abuses the policy as he always has.

Last edited by Aamilj, Sunday, February 12, 2012 4:32 PM
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Sunday, February 12, 2012 4:44 PM

Quick point... We know that, at least for now, Disney has no plans to address the Fast pass return policy via GAC. The memo makes it clear that the cast members themselves will be addressing that policy at each ride.

"Cast members will be allowed to make exceptions for things such as personal emergencies, a delay in meal service or when an attraction stops running during the return window."

If the plan were to use GAC...cast members would be advised to send guests to Guest Relations where GAC cards are issued.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 5:03 PM

Aamilj said:


Because of ADA Disney cannot make a policy that interferes with a disabled persons ability to access their attractions.

I think this is the heart of the debate. What policy has Disney implemented that interferes with a disabled persons ability to access their attractions? How does setting an expiration time on a fast pass interfere with anyone, disabled/able, accessing their attractions?

Isn't this how a fast pass plays out - get pass, return between assigned time window (what is the window length?), enjoy the attraction. What would prohibit a disable person from accomplishing that?

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:10 PM

typical conversation does not end with telling somebody to "stop already."

That's because typical conversation has two (or more) participants with a reasonable position. Your ADA angle is a red herring. The GAC is the mechanism that people with disabilities, and those who hide behind the ADA shield, use. It has nothing---not one thing---to do with FP return times. You're just flat out wrong here.

The policy has ALWAYS been that guests should return by the time printed on the Fastpass.

Not so. I've had the opportunity to read the operating guides and training material for several WDW attractions, circa '04 or '05. Every single FP-enabled attraction says the same thing (paraphrasing): as an unpublished courtesy to our guests, late returns are to be admitted.

There were always a few exceptions---a significantly backed up FP return line, for example---but the policy has always been very clear, and the Cast would happily explain it to you if you asked.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:11 PM
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Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:12 PM

Isn't this how a fast pass plays out - get pass, return between assigned time window (what is the window length?), enjoy the attraction. What would prohibit a disable person from accomplishing that?

But that's not even the right question. Someone with a disability who required this sort of accommodation would go Guest Services to ask for a GAC. That GAC would allow the holder to, among other things, use FP return lines at any time they wished. Such a person would never have to acquire a Fastpass in the first place, so for that person the return time and whether or not it is enforced is moot.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:13 PM
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Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:50 PM

Brian Noble said:
But that's not even the right question. Someone with a disability who required this sort of accommodation would go Guest Services to ask for a GAC. That GAC would allow the holder to, among other things, use FP return lines at any time they wished. Such a person would never have to acquire a Fastpass in the first place, so for that person the return time and whether or not it is enforced is moot.

This is what I was trying to say as well.

If you're disabled, you'd be accessing rides independent of both regular lines and FastPass line to begin with.

...and anyone trying to game the system can do it just the same way already.

Aamilj said:
This is the second time you have made this point. Any examples? This way I can address specifics. I'm only aware of how Fastpass works (and staying at a hotel on site at Universal). Without knowing the other programs, it is difficult to opine.

While I feel the greater point has already been made, I did want to follow up with this.

What immediately comes to mind is Six Flags' Q-bot. It's an electronic device. If you miss your window, reservation goes bye-bye and you have to reserve again.

The reason this is not an issue at Six Flags is the same reason it's not going to be an issue at Disney - handicapped guests access the rides independent from regular and virtual queue lines.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:00 PM

Now he's even becoming annoying in on topic discussion.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:38 PM

A lot to keep up with.

First off GAC had NOTHING to do with my opinion or the law of the land. If ANYTHING in this conversation were a prototypical straw man, or red herring, it would be GAC. GAC is nothing more than a card that Disney provides to guests who need accommodations. It is a method by which Disney complies with ADA. There is a huge difference.

Second...as stated earlier...this conversation has nothing to do with GAC. This was a leaked internal memo that makes it clear WHO will address and HOW to address late admittance to the Fastpass line.

  • In a message to cast members, Disney stated “to provide the best experience possible” the Fastpass return window will be enforced starting March 7, 2012. Disney went on to remind cast members that this is not a change, but a reminder of the existing policy. Disney says most guests already return within their Fastpass time window.
  • Cast members will be allowed to make exceptions for things such as personal emergencies, a delay in meal service or when an attraction stops running during the return window.
Cast Members will be making this decision. They will not be asking for GAC cards. While GAC cards COULD certainly be used to address this situation...that is NOT what we are talking about.

Cast members will be making the decision and Disney is allowing "personal emergencies" as a valid reason for a cast member to let you in the Fastpass line LATE. They are not sending you to a special entrance...a special waiting room, etc...they are letting you walk into the general Fastpass line available to EVERY guest.

What policy has Disney implemented that interferes with a disabled persons ability to access their attractions?

Nothing. It is clear that the policy makes exceptions for personal emergencies. That is the point. Disney HAS to make exceptions for personal emergencies to comply with ADA.

This is why Jeff said..."nothing changed!" ...and I agree...

How does setting an expiration time on a fast pass interfere with anyone, disabled/able, accessing their attractions?

This is a different question which has been addressed. It is possible that some of you might be confusing the term disabled. There is a lot more to disabled than what the eye can see. As suggested before...alcoholism, cancer, IBS, etc are all covered under ADA even though none of these would require a special access line. The ADA (and if you want to include GAC) address a lot more than just mobility deficits.

So anyhow...any person with a digestive issue...cancer/IBS would need an accommodation that the Fastpass return time be extended in the event that they have an "accident." Disney is addressing this by allowing the Cast Members to give leeway for "personal emergencies." Notice that GAC had NOTHING to do with the solution and/or compliance. Nobody needs a special entrance, etc...

ADA addresses way more than just PHYSICAL limitations to attractions (ramps, elevators, etc.). The ADA also addresses POLICIES for accessing the attractions. Disney must comply with both. They cannot say..."hey we built a ramp and a special wheelchair seat along with a special access line for you to ride...tough luck on the fact that your disability required you go back to the hotel and change your clothes...and therefore you missed your ride window" That does not comply with ADA.

As stated multiple times now...Disney is aware of this and has complied by allowing "personal emergencies" as a valid reason to let a person ignore the return time policy.

What would prohibit a disable person from accomplishing that?

See the multiple digestive examples by which a disabled person simply has an accident and needs more time. That is a clear case where the disability interferes with a person's ability to make it back in time.

...gotta go eat...will address the other comments later

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:42 PM

Why do you keep bringing me up?

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:03 PM

will address the other comments later

Take your time. Lots and lots and lots of time.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 9:40 PM

Jeff said:
Why do you keep bringing me up?

Lucky you. He keeps bringing me down. :(

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Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:32 PM

Your ADA angle is a red herring. The GAC is the mechanism that people with disabilities, and those who hide behind the ADA shield, use. It has nothing---not one thing---to do with FP return times. You're just flat out wrong here.



      • The red herring in this argument is GAC. I'll let you go back and see who brought it up.

        GAC had absolutely nothing to do with this article or Fastpass return times. Cast Members do. You can say I'm wrong all day. The only difference is I'll be able to quote directly from the source to show you are wrong. Whether you and anybody else chooses to openly endorse ignorance is a personal choice. But this article is all about how Cast Members will make the decisions based upon certain criteria.

        Now I do not disagree that at some point in the future, GAC might make some sense as a mechanism to enforce this policy. But that is certainly not the case today. Nobody will have to go get a GAC card to come into the Fastpass line with an expired ticket. They need only have a "personal emergency" story ready to tell...

        Not so. I've had the opportunity to read the operating guides and training material for several WDW attractions, circa '04 or '05. Every single FP-enabled attraction says the same thing (paraphrasing): as an unpublished courtesy to our guests, late returns are to be admitted.

        Then your recollection is different from the article...

        Someone with a disability who required this sort of accommodation would go Guest Services to ask for a GAC. That GAC would allow the holder to, among other things, use FP return lines at any time they wished. Such a person would never have to acquire a Fastpass in the first place, so for that person the return time and whether or not it is enforced is moot.

        I don't disagree with this. The GAC could always be used as one way of entering special lines or the regular Fastpass line. But as stated earlier, the GAC is the red herring. This is not the typical use of GAC. Typically GAC is used for those who have physical limitations in the mobility domain. They may need a special physical entrance, etc. This is not the type of disability that would fall under the "personal emergency" category. Luckily, Disney goes to great pains to accommodate all kinds of disabilities.

        This article is about how Cast Members will be treating guests who come to the Fastpass line with an expired ticket. Not GAC...


        If you're disabled, you'd be accessing rides independent of both regular lines and FastPass line to begin with....and anyone trying to game the system can do it just the same way already.

        Gonch:

        This is confusing mobility related disability as encompassing ALL disabilities. For example, a person with Autism does not always access a Disney ride through a separate entrance. But they might have a GAC card that allows other accommodations The rest is explained above..

        What immediately comes to mind is Six Flags' Q-bot. It's an electronic device. If you miss your window, reservation goes bye-bye and you have to reserve again.The reason this is not an issue at Six Flags is the same reason it's not going to be an issue at Disney - handicapped guests access the rides independent from regular and virtual queue lines.

        Sorry...I hate Six flags and have made a habit to skip them for years.

        A couple points. If Six Flags is the same customer service type company it was years ago, I would not be shocked if they are ignoring ADA. If they are...they are but one lawsuit away from being forced to make an accommodation to their Q-bot policy.

        I also hope/guess that there is means for those who are not "mobility" disabled to have accommodations made to the Q-bot policy which would bring this program's implementation into compliance with ADA. Something like Disney making an exception for "personal emergencies."

        As for the latter part of your quote, you are again generalizing all disabled persons as people who need special PHYSICAL accommodations to access a ride. Read my link up thread and you will see all of the non-physical scenerios/diagnoses that are covered under ADA. For these folks, a special ramp, etc is not only inappropriate, it could be demeaning.

        ADA makes special effort to cover way more than physical barriers. Policies can be as limiting to a person with bowel cancer as stairs are to a person in a wheelchair. Therefore the ADA requires that policies be relaxed to accommodate persons who have different disabilities than what you and others keep bringing up.

        In this case Disney will relax their policy by excluding "personal emergencies." My point is that this is the weakness/access point for schemers. GAC and all the personal stuff are unrelated (or very distantly related) to our discussion. There will not be a sudden flood at the handicapped entrances. There is a decent chance that there will still be the normal flow of persons into Fastpass lines with expired tickets though. Instead of going unquestioned...this group will say I had a "personal emergency."

        I guess time will tell how weak of an access point this "personal emergency" clause proves to be. You seem to think it will not have much of an affect. I believe it could put a big damper on their future plans.

    • Last edited by Aamilj, Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:33 PM
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      Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:10 PM

      With 2 years (and counting) of direct experience with the subject at hand, I feel pretty confident in saying that you are blowing this way out of proportion and making things 100x more complicated than they really are. Brian is right with this.

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      Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:19 PM

      Don't the new Q-Bots not have a return time expiration? I am trying to remember what the return window was at Lake Compounce but I know it was a small window, although at a smaller park like that and not using it on that that many rides it wasn't a big deal.

      edit - I just looked it up and it appears Lake Compounce's return window is only 10 minutes:

      http://www.lakecompounce.com/Text2Ride_Handout.pdf

      Last edited by YoshiFan, Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:21 PM
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      Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:20 PM

      Aamilj said:
      I guess time will tell how weak of an access point this "personal emergency" clause proves to be. You seem to think it will not have much of an affect. I believe it could put a big damper on their future plans.

      Yeah, I guess so. Time will tell.

      Seems to me like you're arguing a very specific point while missing the reality of the larger picture.

      I feel like I'm repeating myself, but...

      People could game the system pretty easily. They can game it pretty easily now. Most don't. Most of Disney guests show up during the window of time on their FastPass.

      You're right in that nothing will change...except for the minority of people who miss their assigned time by a decent chunk who will probably have to sell their case a smidgen harder...and there's no reasonable excuse for using that 11am Fastpass at 9pm...ADA bull**** or not. Seems like an attempt to reel in the fringe element that abuses the current lax policy to extreme measures. Outside of that, it's all good.

      I guess I don't understand why it will suddenly become a big problem if nothing has changed.

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      Monday, February 13, 2012 1:15 AM

      Although nothing's changed
      Some people want to argue
      Straw man, red herring

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      Monday, February 13, 2012 7:45 AM

      Travis says it best.

      "Some people want to argue."

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      Monday, February 13, 2012 8:26 AM

      As an aside, that will remain the policy at Disneyland, at least for now.

      Wanted to come back to this. MousePlanet reports that DLR Cast have "gotten the memo" as well. So, DLR my also be enforcing. We'll see.

      To curb this use—and some say way to lay the foundation for a new version of Fastpass expected to be part of Walt Disney World's super-secret NextGen project—the Orlando resort has notified cast members that beginning Wednesday, March 7, the official policy and the operational practice must become one. MousePlanet has confirmed that a similar memo was released to Disneyland Resort cast members as well.

      http://www.mouseplanet.com/9882/Disneyland_Resort_Update#news3

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      Monday, February 13, 2012 10:45 AM

      I guess I don't understand why it will suddenly become a big problem if nothing has changed.

      and some say way to lay the foundation for a new version of Fastpass expected to be part of Walt Disney World's super-secret NextGen project

      Hard to reconcile both of these comments. How do you lay a foundation by changing "nothing?" But that is what I think Disney is doing here...peeing in the wind.

      People could game the system pretty easily. They can game it pretty easily now. Most don't. Most of Disney guests show up during the window of time on their FastPass.

      I don't miss this point at all. I agree with the fact that "most don't." But it is obvious "more do" than Disney is comfortable with.

      Explain to me this. Why would Disney put out this memo if they were comfortable with current levels of gamesmanship? It is rhetorical. We know they are not happy with current levels...or we would not have the memo.

      My point is that the current solution of allowing Cast Members at the rides to allow exemptions for "personal emergencies" does not change a thing. Therefore the problem Disney hopes to solve ("more do") does not go away. You probably should not have Cast Members at the ride making those decisions. It seems the policy should funnel those decisions to Guest Services.

      I think the best solution is to enforce a policy that you cannot, under any circumstances, get a 2nd Fastpass BEFORE you use the one in hand. This would entail Cast Members scanning your Fastpass immediately at the ride instead of collecting a bunch and sticking them in their pocket. This policy would be fair for all, and seemingly compliant with ADA (or at least a much tougher threshold for schemers to exploit).

      The drawback with my solution above (and all of these systems have some drawbacks) is that at a park like EPCOT...on a busy day...you show up at noon and get your Fastpass for Soarin that says come back at 8:00 pm. That means this guests utilization of the line saving technology is good for ONE ride. Not exactly a real crowd pleaser.

      I don't have the answer. But it is obvious Disney believes that they need to reduce the "more do" category. I don't think these memos will be enough.

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