How Many FASTPASSES Does One Really Need?

bnoble

he's right
How many do I need? Zero.

You can send me to any amusement park, anywhere in the world. Give me a map 45 minutes before opening, and I will have a reasonably sensible plan for attacking it without having to use virtual queueing of any sort. Honestly it's not that hard, but it involves embracing three things:

1: You have to hit the high-demand/low-capacity attractions either at the beginning or the end of the day if you don't want to wait for them.
2: There may be more high-D/low-C attractions than you can visit in a single day without waiting in a line.
3: "Having fun" is not equivalent to "riding high-D/low-C attractions as many times as possible."

#1 is pretty obvious. More or less anyone who has ever visited an amusement park ever gets this. But, most people don't actually do it, which is why it works. It does take a little bit of experience to figure out what is in high demand (newer, bigger == more in-demand) and what is low capacity (dark rides are notorious; smaller ride vehicles or longer cycle times are problematic), but even so.

#2 is a hard thing for people to accept. At WDW, the Magic Kingdom is probably the only park that falls into this category, but at "other" parks (including other Disney parks) it is much more common. That's okay. You can either decide to not do some things, or you can decide to wait for them. But, you can't have it all, no matter what. That's true even in today's FP world at the Magic Kingdom, because enough of those high-D/low-C attractions don't have FP. This is easier to cope with if you accept #3 as well.

#3 is one of those things you have to actually experience for yourself to truly understand. Sites like this, (or TGM or TP) tend to spawn a culture that equates the two: more rides == more fun. But, that hasn't been my experience. The event that really opened my eyes to this was the enforcement of FP return times. Before enforcement, I would routinely ride the Mountains in MK 2-4 times each in a single day, just because I could. But, in the process, there were several things I didn't ever set aside the time to do; I wasn't waiting in line for the Mountains, but riding them still took time. Post-enforcement, I started spending more time at the "lesser" attractions and discovered much to my surprise that my trips were not only still enjoyable, they were actually better. Having more diversity of experience in a day made it seem more full. I was very surprised by this, and it has been liberating. But, it should not have been a surprise. I've often gone to my home park with the family, not riding more than 1-2 of the half-dozen (or more) headliners, but having a perfectly awesome time.

Of course, if you give me virtual queueing, the plan is that much easier. So, that brings us to the "How do I feel about FP+" question.

First, it certainly seems as if the rumors are going to be true: at most three reservations per day, not all three can be used for "headliners", only in one park per day. This is effectively taking FP opportunities from those who know how to aggressively work the system, and making them available to those who do not. Despite the fact that I'm someone who knows how to aggressively work the system, I have a hard time being upset at this, because WDW's success---and continued investment in the parks---depends on Joe and Jane Average having a great time on their vacation and coming back and/or telling their friends they should go. The new system should help the Averages.

That said, there are some things about this system that I really like. Being the parents of teenagers---or the couple on a no-kids trip who were known to stay in The Adventurer's Club drinking Kungalooshes (Kungalooshi?) much longer than strictly wise---having the ability to reserve afternoon/evening FP return times without being in the park that morning sounds like a win. Likewise, spending the morning in one park (taking advantage of short lines) and hopping to another with one or two headliner FPs sounds great. And, I won't miss being the guy who runs across the park because the FP window has opened.

Some of the sturm und drang around FP+ is due to the spreading of the FP love from the "knows" to the "know-nots". I get that, but I understand why it is happening. However, I think most of the agita is really because things are changing, and Change Is Bad.

 

pfalcioni

does anybody know how to change this?
Of course, I want them all, and I don't want them to expire either. However, that's not a realistic option. I think we probably average around 3-6 sets a day with the current system, pulling maybe 30% more than that that we end up not using.

In many ways I'm looking forward to FP+. My only issue may be a non-issue depending on how the system actually works once it's rolled out - namely, what happens when things happen beyond my control and I'm not able to use some of my FP? How easy will it be to make changes and still end up with a useful FP for later in the day, or to switch parks entirely?

We had one trip where we both got sick. We ended up shuffling our park days and our single dinner reservation around 3 different times (fortunately Boma's an easy one to get). I don't think adding in the frustration of FP juggling would have "plussed" my experience at that point. I think the average family of 4 probably has at least one day during a WDW vacation that goes all to heck and that requires some itinerary juggling. This is where I'm wondering how well FP+ will serve its customers.

I'm also wondering how they'll handle it when rides are down. I can see it working for folks who walk up to enter the ride when it is down, and being able to "future" their FP for later in the day, but what about those folks who are in line when the ride breaks down? We've had this happen a few times and have received anytime FP to replace the ones we've already surrendered. I can't imagine a single CM at a lone kiosk taking care of that for 50 or more people who have just been kicked out of the FP line.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's going to be awful, I just am wondering how Disney plans on taking care of these situations.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
How many do I need? Zero.
QFT

I am reminded of the first day in Economics 101. The professor stands in front of the class and informs us that there is no such thing as a need, there is only wants.

And it is true that people don't know what they want until you show it to them.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
QFT

I am reminded of the first day in Economics 101. The professor stands in front of the class and informs us that there is no such thing as a need, there is only wants.

And it is true that people don't know what they want until you show it to them.
Hmmmmm.......I'm not sure I agree with that....I think that food, water, and breathable air (and the ability to breath it) are needs. After all....you would die without them.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
Hmmmmm.......I'm not sure I agree with that....I think that food, water, and breathable air (and the ability to breath it) are needs. After all....you would die without them.

Ok, give me a minute to channel my inner economist.



You don't "need" food, water and air. You want them. Sure you would die without them, but you also don't "need" life. You want to live.

The definition of need is that it is something required. Something that you can't do with out. Something that you would never give up. Something essential.

In other words, something priceless.

The problem is that everything has a price.

If you were stranded on a life raft with one of your children and there was only enough water to keep one of you alive, if you drink that water does it have a cost? Sure does. Most people in that situation would say that they wouldn't "want" the water.

Sure these examples are taken to the extreme, but understanding the economic argument for the non-existence of needs is valuable. It can allow you to look at situations in a different light. I took that class over 15 years, but I think about that lecture often.
 

ernierich

New member
How many is enough? I'm not sure, but I AM sure it's not three for MK! We get to go to WDW very rarely (cost and distance) and cram as much in as we can. I can't help but feel that the new system will try and force us to spend a lot of time standing in lines, even for those attractions that don't have queues now. I'm a low queue threshold person and don't believe any ride is worth waiting more than 20 mins for. That's not what our holidays are about I'm afraid.

Our next trip is planned for Summer 2014 and all this has me thinking that maybe we should decrease our 'Disney' days and up our 'Universal' days (we stay on-site for both). I'm so hoping that all is settled before we get there and we can cobble together some sort of decent touring plan. If we spend all day standing around in lines, I can't imagine we'll be back in a hurry.
 

Marianna

New member
need /nēd/

Verb Require (something) because it is essential or very important: "I need help now".

Noun Circumstances in which something is necessary, or that require some course of action; necessity: "the need for food".

Synonyms verb. want - require - demand - lack noun. want - necessity - requirement -poverty - lack
 

Marianna

New member
bnoble, I agree the change is causing a great deal of angst, but I think much of that comes from people who are accustomed to being able to plan out an itenerary far in advance no longer being able to do so. I think once Disney puts this into play, people will feel a little more in control of their vacations.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
need /nēd/

Verb Require (something) because it is essential or very important: "I need help now".

Noun Circumstances in which something is necessary, or that require some course of action; necessity: "the need for food".

Synonyms verb. want - require - demand - lack noun. want - necessity - requirement -poverty - lack
At the risk of derailing George's excellent thread even further, that was my professor's point. Need as a noun can't exist. To define something as a need, would require that it is a necessity. And to go even further down the rabbit hole, a necessity is defined as something that is indispensable, or as Webster's defines it "not subject to being set aside".

From an economic standpoint, nothing is indispensable. Everything has a cost.

I have to regularly buy new shirts because my heart bleeds so profusely. My professor was also one of the kindest men I have ever met. The idea that there is no need, but only wants, is not an exercise to devalue human life, but rather is to provide a new outlook when looking at problems. Of course, it is academic navel gazing. But that also doesn't diminish its value as a thought exercise.

Bringing this back home to the topic of Fastpass+, the original question posed was "How many Fastpasses does one really need?" I believe that bnoble was correct in his thoughtful answer of zero. We all may have different answers to how many we would want, but that is going to vary based on the individual. We all value Fastpasses differently. A good example of the differing value placed on experiences at WDW was perfectly illustrated in the "Favor to ask Josh" thread. Grace places a VERY high value on the parks being empty, to the point where she stated a jealousy of the family that was able to visit the MK alone. pfalcioni stated that when she visited Disneyland when it was empty, she found it less enjoyable because "...i
n many ways it was sad and a little spooky." We all place different values on Fastpasses and Disney, Inc's job is to increase the value of Fastpasses for the greatest number of people. Our job is to exploit the system to maximize our particular individual enjoyment.

Alright, I have derailed the thread long enough.
 

neffernie

New member
Some of the sturm und drang around FP+ is due to the spreading of the FP love from the "knows" to the "know-nots". I get that, but I understand why it is happening. However, I think most of the agita is really because things are changing, and Change Is Bad.
Couldn't have said it better. Once everything is in place, people will adjust. If they don't adjust then they won't go. Like you said about the Averages, Disney isn't making these changes for the hard core fans who go all the time. It is for the people who go every now and then or maybe just once, who don't plan to ride everything more than once, and would just like a chance at a FP for something. If Disney was worried that this program would turn people away, they wouldn't be increasing ticket prices and removing discounts like 1-day FL Res tickets and child APs.
 

stratocaster68

New member
A lot of this depends on if Disney allows all or a very large percentage to be allocated before the date they are useable. If you know what you are going to do each day (not each minute) and the plans don't change after you get the FPs then it will be pretty convenient. But if you have to make changes and you end up with a FPs that you can't exchange for anything you want to do then you're screwed.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
Couldn't have said it better. Once everything is in place, people will adjust. If they don't adjust then they won't go. Like you said about the Averages, Disney isn't making these changes for the hard core fans who go all the time. It is for the people who go every now and then or maybe just once, who don't plan to ride everything more than once, and would just like a chance at a FP for something. If Disney was worried that this program would turn people away, they wouldn't be increasing ticket prices and removing discounts like 1-day FL Res tickets and child APs.
This is a great point. I think that it is so easy to get caught up in the thought that Disney is out to get us planners.....but what Disney is doing is reaching out to get those people who are not the planners. We are really a very small percentage of people who know how to work the system. Most people have absolutely no clue. I go back to the FB surveys that Disney did a year or so ago where they asked numerous times about how people felt about FPs. The overwhelming response was "I'd like to but they are always gone by the time I get to the park. I wish that Disney would limit the number they pass out first thing in the morning so it would be available to those of us who like to sleep in on vacation," (or some variation of this.) Of course there were those planners who said they loved FP, those who said that they didn't feel like paying extra for them (you know....those people who don't know anything about FPs), those who claimed that standing in line was part of the experience, etc. But the majority where those who wanted to use the FP for later arrivals, etc. So....this whole thing is one way to make this happen for those people. Sure....there is the fact that many FPs will be gone because the planners will have taken them. But...there will also be many who had no idea about FPs who will be asked to select their FPs in advance who will. This gives them the chance of experiencing these attractions with the FP and thus increasing their enjoyment.

Will there be a few people who have learned to work the system who might decide to travel to Disney less? Possibly. But let's face it....by increasing the enjoyment of your average visitor....ultimately Disney will increase satisfaction and will gain more. It's all about the bottom line and for Disney.....this is a very good move. And let's face it....we will adapt.

A lot of this depends on if Disney allows all or a very large percentage to be allocated before the date they are useable. If you know what you are going to do each day (not each minute) and the plans don't change after you get the FPs then it will be pretty convenient. But if you have to make changes and you end up with a FPs that you can't exchange for anything you want to do then you're screwed.
I can't see Disney giving out all of the FPs in advance....if they do this....then the system really won't work. The whole point is to help those who want the flexibility of using FPs without having to arrive at the parks at 8:30 AM each day. Disney is trying to spread the magic. And one of the things that Disney has said about the FP+ is that people will be able to change FPs while in the parks.....so they have to make a way for this to happen. Otherwise, the system really will fail. I can see them saving something like 25% of the FPs for same day use. Also, you will have other people who will be dropping their FPs due to changes, etc that will open up more availability each day. No....it isn't going to be as nice as just walking up to a machine and grabbing your FPs, but with enforced return times as well as the chance that any particular FP can run out by the time you get there....well....even the current system isn't that flexible.
 

bnoble

he's right
I believe that bnoble was correct in his thoughtful answer of zero.
It's worth pointing out that my "zero" isn't really because of the want vs. need distinction (though I agree with it). It's because I know I can have a fun day at any amusement park, even if I don't have any particular mechanism to bypass lines. Such mechanisms do make it easier, but they are not a pre-requisite for an enjoyable day.
 

stratocaster68

New member
I can't see Disney giving out all of the FPs in advance....if they do this....then the system really won't work. The whole point is to help those who want the flexibility of using FPs without having to arrive at the parks at 8:30 AM each day. Disney is trying to spread the magic. And one of the things that Disney has said about the FP+ is that people will be able to change FPs while in the parks.....so they have to make a way for this to happen. Otherwise, the system really will fail. I can see them saving something like 25% of the FPs for same day use. Also, you will have other people who will be dropping their FPs due to changes, etc that will open up more availability each day. No....it isn't going to be as nice as just walking up to a machine and grabbing your FPs, but with enforced return times as well as the chance that any particular FP can run out by the time you get there....well....even the current system isn't that flexible.
Me neither. If they did give out all the FPs before the actual day I could envision huge problems at the parks.

To address someone's earlier point, considering how many people don't use FP now, how many of these types of people will use it when FP+ is in place?
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
To address someone's earlier point, considering how many people don't use FP now, how many of these types of people will use it when FP+ is in place?
I can't give you a number, but I think more than currently use regular Fastpass.

My son was just at WDW with his mom and they got to test Fastpass+. I sent her a text asking if they were also able to use regular Fastpass, in addition to the 3 Fastpass+ they were allotted. She responded with confusion, because she didn't know anything about regular Fastpass. They were using Fastpass+ because Disney contacted them and specifically told them to make reservations.
 

bnoble

he's right
I think more than currently use regular Fastpass.
I think so too. It's just a reservation. People understand what those are. Compare that to the amount of messaging/education Disney has to provide to explain how FP works to its guests---the planning DVD, Resort TV, park map descriptions, etc. Think back to when *you* were a newbie, and just learning about FP. If you use a planning site, you probably read *pages* about it.
 

Marianna

New member
I understood, Strangeite, :) I was just tossing the dictionary into the conversations, maybe just to needle you a bit. I do understand there is no real need involved here or in theory anywhere .

I think the word "need" is very much on topic. I'm guessing we all have a different idea of what our FP needs are based on a number of variables and withthe FP+ rollout, we are all going to need to redefine that need.
 
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