A Disney fan blog about the good things in life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Disney Fast Pass 2.0 - Because Paper Fast Pass is for Suckers

Disney has started testing out a new Fast Pass system that will put those little paper Fast Pass tickets out of business. Using Radio Frequency Identification (or what nerds call "RFID") combined with IPads in the hands of cast members, visitors can stroll up to their ride and wave a card in front of a scanner that will give the thumbs up (or down) for entry.
Now this is only in beta test, so only a handful of people have experienced this (pick me! pick me!) but the idea is, for those who leave nothing to chance-- rides, attractions, and character meet-and-greets can all be arranged days or even weeks in advance. 
It sounds kind of awesomely nerdy and I am super excited about it but I can imagine some pitfalls. First, when technology fails, it fails hard. How much of a bummer if you spent weeks lining up your ride times only to show up and have the system down. You know it's going to happen and frankly, a paper ticket never goes off-line. Second, how much would it suck to make your Fast Pass reservation for Big Thunder Mountain the day the Orlando skies open up? Or Splash Mountain during a freakishly cold day?  Sure, you can check the weather ahead of time, but there is something to be said for a bit of flexibility and spontaneity. 
Aside of glitches and weather, I can imagine the Disney-lite user struggling to make the system work for them. I've been to Disney 9,000 times and I already know the park layout and the ride lines you need to worry about. But not everyone is as crazy as me, and may not even know to book a reservation for Soarin' or Test Track. Imagine if you wasted a reservation time on Captain EO or The Carousel of Progress-- the horror. But seriously, part of the fun of Disney is the stuff you learn as you go year after year. Sending someone off to get Fast Pass' at Expedition Everest while someone else holds a spot at the Safari is an Animal Kingdom yearly ritual.   
Putting fear of change aside, Fast Pass 2.0 is bound to be a giant success. It'll even be a great tale to share with my grandchildren someday...
 "Kids, when I was growing up, Fast Pass tickets were made of paper!"  
Of course, by then Disney will have developed some microchip system... but that's a tale for another day.

1 comment

  1. It' as if you rread my mind with this post. "Paul run and get the fastpasses...QUICK!!!"


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