Karen’s FastPass+ Update – After the Disney World trip


magic bandsA few months ago I wrote about my experience with using Disney’s new FastPass+ (FP+) as we were preparing for our upcoming Disney World trip in January 2014 (click here for that earlier FP+ blog posting). Now that we are home, I have a few updates.

What we liked:

    •  We didn’t need to run to a FP (traditional/old FastPass) kiosk to get a paper ticket. This saved time and walking.
    • Because the FP+ reservations are on each persons Magic Band, there is no need to fumble with paper tickets as in the old system.
    • We were able to change our FP+ times if we needed to. While waiting in line for one attraction, I was able to use my husband’s iPhone to change our times for a later FP+. I was concerned that there would be no times left for us to choose from, but there was plenty of FP+ availability for later that day.
    • We could sync one person’s FP+ times to another person’s. This was handy in the case where my ticket had a glitch (unrelated to the FP+ system), and I had no FP+’s reserved for the day. I was able to use the iPhone to “share” all of my son’s FP+ reservations with my own ticket.

    What we didn’t like:

    • Some of the rules changed between the time we originally made our FP+ reservations (60 days before the trip), and when we were in the park. For example, we originally had FP+ for both Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania on the same day. We changed our plans for the day, so had to change our FP+ reservations as well. By that time, Disney no longer allowed FP+ for BOTH attractions; we had to choose one or the other. We ended up waiting in the Coaster line a very long time.
    • You cannot have more than 3 FP+ in one day. With the old paper system, it was possible to get more than three. Before the trip we wondered if we could get some paper FPs in addition to the FP+ reservations. A Cast Member told us that we would run the risk of screwing up our FP+ reservations if we also took some paper FPs, so we did not try it. Later in the trip, we were stuck behind a family arguing in the FP line with a Cast Member. Apparently they had tried to combine paper FPs with FP+, and their FP+ reservations were no longer valid at the ride they (and we!) were waiting for. 
    • The online system for manipulating the FP+ reservations is still slow, and sometimes has errors. I found myself checking periodically just to make sure that the system did in fact record our FP+ changes properly.

    Overall, we were very happy with the new FP+ system and look forward to using it again. We especially liked how the Magic Bands are used for FP+. It was super convenient to touch your wrist to the post, barely even stopping as you walk by.

    Karen Waldman, February 2014

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