Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Disney Fast Pass Chaos

Scheduling our Fast Passes
By now you realize our family loves Disney. We grew up surrounded by it and it has always been a place for escape since I was in elementary school and all of our children feel the same way. We may not decorate our bathroom or kitchen in Disney, but it has been brought to the table for a vote.

There are many things that Disney does great. For example at the resort we stayed at, there were several food lines, each with only five or six entrees, so the choice was limited. This enabled the cooks to prepare the food quicker, which in turn meant you were seated and eating faster. The four days we were there, not once did we have to stand for an outrageous amount of time in line. The fast food industry could really learn something from what Disney accomplishes. It was the same way in the parks.

The girls and I fell in love with Disney’s Magic Bands as well. Our park passes, credit cards, room key, and Fast Passes were all attached to this wrist band, making it easy to access whatever we needed without having to lug fifty things around. I also hear they are on the verge of doing even more with the Magic Bands, which has us excited.

Magic Bands to hold all the Magic
However, one of those things that I have mixed feelings about are the Fast Passes. For those not in the know, in the old days you had to wait in line to get on a ride and it didn’t matter how long that line was. You waited until it was your turn. Period. Now, however, they have Fast Passes, which means you get to pick one ride and schedule a time to cut in line and bypass everyone else. The only people you wait behind are other Fast Pass holders. When you enter the park you get to pick one, annual pass holders or those staying at a resort are able to pick up to three per day. This is great for those main rides that you really want to make sure you get a chance to ride. Of course, it does piss off everyone who has been waiting in line already, but no one has ever appreciated line cutters, even at Disney.

When we went to the Magic Kingdom, we were in line to go on the Jungle Cruise and the wait was sixty minutes. A little more than average for a Disney ride, but we didn’t really care. We like each other’s company so waiting in line is no big deal. However, in a blink it jumped from sixty minutes to one hundred and ten minutes. We left the line.

Then there were times at Epcot and Hollywood Studios where having the Fast Pass actually hurt you. We used one of ours to get in to see Finding Nemo, the Musical as did half the audience apparently. We were right on time, slid into a nice spot to watch the show, and then just before those not using a Fast Pass were ushered in we were all told to slide to the side to make room. It was the same for the Indiana Jones show at Hollywood Studios. You were shoved over to make room for those who were waiting outside. No one was turned away as we were all crammed inside. A waste of a Fast Pass, but we know better for next time.
To be honest, I miss the old way of everyone just waiting in line. It gave you time to talk, to rest, and to determine if you really wanted to go on that ride. If it wasn’t worth the wait, then you moved on to something else.

Magic Band Bling

I started thinking of people who like to take shortcuts in life. They want everything now, that very moment. They hate the idea of waiting for something good to happen or for their dream to become a reality. There is no such thing as an overnight success. While they may suddenly get in the spotlight, they have been working at their craft for years. It takes hard work, perseverance, and commitment to the end game. Shortcuts sometimes hurt more than they help. Don’t rush to be at the end so soon. There is a reason the journey is before you, things you need to learn, and ways for you to grow. Don’t Fast Pass those. Dig your heels in and determine that you’re there no matter how long the wait. There is plenty to do in the meantime. Soak up your surroundings, the people around you. Enjoy those moments that occur before your ride begins and you’ll be more than ready when it is finally your turn. Success takes time, don’t speed up the clock. You may just miss something vital.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Did you enjoy what you read?  Leave me a comment and then join me at The Mess that Is Me on Facebook!

See what you've missed ~ Middle Name Seriousness 
                                      Bucket List 
                                      There Is No Bedtime on Vacation 

Thanks for visiting The Mess! Keep chasing your dreams!

Pick up a copy of one of my books today!


  1. Nice post, and while I am a Disney cynic, I think we have some common ground here. One of my greatest frustrations with Disney, having worked there, is that the company does everything almost TOO well, so well, in fact, that many of the guests I dealt with actually felt entitled to things that were quite impossible.

    "The restaurant you want to dine at is full because everyone in there right now booked their tables 180 days out? Sorry, but even Disney can't move space and time (let alone fire codes) to squeeze your party of 17 in there." Of course, I don't word it that way, but the usual response I get, when I tell them there is no availability, is: "IF WALT DISNEY WERE ALIVE, HE WOULD ROLL OVER IN HIS GRAVE!" (figure that one out)

    The other example of entitlement I got was when working at one of the rides (Soarin', if you recall) and one day we had to close for maintenance. As I stood in my flight suit, telling people that the ride would be closed for awhile due to maintenance issues, people literally got in my face and shit fire about it. One of the recurring themes was, "I paid $3000 for this vacation, and you're telling me I can't go on this ride?!!!????"

    Never mind that the $3000 they paid (a lot more now as this was 10 years ag0) gave them access to all of the thousands of wonderful things at Disney. The moment they were told there was something they could NOT have, suddenly the entire vacation was a waste.

    So in many ways, Disney is an example of how the welfare state runs. Like the Rainmakers once sang, "Give a man a free house and he'll bust out the windows." And if you create a vacation experience in which you try to cater to a guest's every whim, the moment one whim is not met, suddenly their life is ruined.

    Fast passes only exacerbate this problem, in my opinion. And as you suggest, they tend to plant the seeds of a mindset that people carry outside of the Disney parks, one of entitlement, of shortcuts, of finding clever ways to "cut in." This is not necessarily Disney's fault. Rather, it is the fault of a culture that can't separate fantasy from reality and no longer can grasp that the vacation has to end and they have to start working for things again.

    1. I agree with you completely. I have seen that mindset and it truly echoes the "But I'm an American" mindset. We feel so high and mighty at times that it is a sad commentary on where we are going as a society. We want to rush through everything and screw those we walk over to get there.

      On a side note, I went on Soarin' for the first time this past visit. I am not a fan of heights, so I have not wanted to attempt it. However, once I was able to pry my eyes open thoroughly enjoyed it. I;ll be wasting another Fast Pass on it.

      Thanks, Matthew, for your insight and for sharing.