By Aulani Diva
If you have been to Walt Disney World in the last year you probably know that the Fast Pass system has been evolving. Gone are the days of running at rope drop to your favorite ride and lining up at the Fast Pass machine to have a piece of paper tell you what time to come back to the ride.
Disney has been changing the system in steps and watching how everyone reacts. So far there has been a lot of mixed reviews on the subject. Next week begins the next step of the whole process – one of which could be a step in the right direction to pleasing us Disney fanatics.
So what does this entail you ask? Well first of all the basics: Everyone should get accustomed (if they are not already) to signing in to their Disney account online. This can be done at www.mydisneyexperience.com This account will link your hotel reservations (if you are staying on a Disney property) to your passes which in turn links to your dining and also your fast pass selections. There is also a My Disney Experience App that coincides with this website so everything you view online can be viewed on your app thus allowing you to see everything at the park via Disney wifi. Once you have this in place it is fairly smooth sailing.
Until this present moment in the Fast Pass Plus evolution you could only select 3 rides (on a tiered system) in 1 park per day. This obviously was not the perfect option as Disney goers are used to park hopping and going on multiple rides per day using the old fast pass system. Beginning April 28 2014 Disney will up their game and allow Disney Resort guests, Disney Vacation Club Members and Annual Pass Holders more than the given 3 rides on the Fast Pass Plus system AND they don’t have to be in the same park. Disney Resort guests and Disney Vacation Club Members will be allowed to access the system up to 60 days in advance and Annual Passholders up to 30 days in advance. It is not yet known if non resort guests will be eligible for the extra fast passes, but if they are they will receive the 30 days in advance eligibility. You will still only be able to select 3 rides on the website or on your app- BUT, when those 3 rides are over you will be able to go to a Fast Pass Plus kiosk (located all across the parks) and select another ride. And so it goes on until the availability of rides ceases for the day using the system. It should be noted that the tiered system will not be in effect for the additional fast passes you receive at Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
This new system should help, although it is yet to be determined how close in time you can get your first 3 fast pass plus selections on the website. Generally, they are quite spread out which means it may be mid afternoon before you can go to the Fast Pass Plus Kiosks to select your 4th ride selection. This begs the question- will there still be fast passes left for the major rides? Also if you have a fast pass plus for a night show (ie Fantasmic) does this mean you are out of luck that day for getting 4 or more fast passes? The one hour rule will still remain in effect where you must go on the fast pass plus ride that has been assigned to you within a 60 minute window. There are no plans to change this.
April 28 2014 will assist in making guests somewhat happier in the ever evolving Fast Pass Plus program. But, we will most surely see the next step of the program in months to come.
Mahalo – Aulani Diva