A lot of potentially positive changes are coming to My Disney Experience beginning Sunday April 10th. The biggest and potentially most beneficial for most guests will be the ability to book the 4th and subsequent FastPass+ experiences via the phone app, rather than first having to stop by a kiosk to begin the process of selecting an additional FastPass+ experience. This also means guests planning to visit a different theme park later can book their 4th or subsequent FastPass+ experiences at a different Park. So if you’re spending the morning at Magic Kingdom and use FastPass+ there before taking a break and having dinner at Epcot, you can now book an additional FastPass+ for Epcot after using your initial selections at Magic Kingdom. Previously, guests would have to travel to the Park that they wanted to book additional FP+ in or hope that their resort concierge could take care of it for them.
This change eliminates the need to visit a kiosk, which is a positive change as it cuts down on walking and waiting. Gone are the days or having to traipse from Big Thunder Mountain to whatever the “Diamond Horseshoe Breezeway” is just to find out that the only FastPass+ experience available is Mad Tea Party. The bad news is that 4th FastPass+ availability gets worse every day as more and more people become privy to and use the system. That’s especially true at Hollywood Studios (and to a lesser extent Epcot) where there are a lot of people spread out over few FP+ experiences. So some guests may feel “pressure” to continually refresh the app hunting down other guests’ cancellations for better attractions and better times. If you refresh the app enough, just about every attraction will become available throughout the day – even those that had been booked weeks or months in advance. And then from there, smaller parties will see more FastPass availability.
As I’ve discussed before, let’s say you’re a party of five and the following FastPass+ experiences are available for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster:
- 3 FP+ for 2:05pm – 3:05pm
- 2 FP+ for 3:15pm – 4:15pm
- 4 FP+ for 3:30pm – 4:30pm
- 1 FP+ for 3:45pm – 4:45pm
- 3 FP+ 4:30pm – 5:30pm
- 6 FP+ for 4:45pm – 5:45pm
- 3 FP+ for 5:30pm – 6:30pm
In this scenario, the only FastPass+ availability that a group of five would see would be the 4:45pm – 5:45pm slot, while a group of two people would see availability for every slot except for 3:45pm to 4:45pm when only one FP+ is available. So in addition to hunting down cancellations throughout the day, those that split their group up and try to find overlapping times will find even more success. And doing so will take even more work. And while some number of people that visit frequently or don’t care if they experience a certain attraction on their current trip will tell you that such refreshing is a waste of time, the ability to save 120 minutes in line at Toy Story Mania or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train may be worth the hassle of camping on your phone throughout lunch hitting “refresh….refresh…..”
There are a couple of other expected enhancements arriving on the 10th. Guests should be able to select the FP+ experience and specific time slot at the time of booking rather than having Disney assign a variety of times from which a guest may choose. This should make it easier to plan around meals and other events from the start rather than having to go through multiple “modify” screens.
Guests will also be able to cancel a specific FastPass+ experience for the group or a single individual rather than having to cancel all experiences for all group members.
Guests are also expected to be able to initially select just one or two FastPass+ experiences rather than being forced into selecting three. It remains to be seen how that affects tiering and selecting FP+ at other Parks.
The app and kiosks should see significant cosmetic changes and other functionality enhancements beginning on the 10th. What could go wrong, right?
The website will investigate how this works in practice this weekend.