Monday Poll: How will strict enforcement of FASTPASS return times affect your WDW touring?

As reported last week on the blog, Walt Disney World Cast Members have been instructed to begin strictly enforcing FASTPASS return times, beginning March 7, 2012 (just in time for the Spring Break travel season). They’ve been instructed to allow people to use their FASTPASSES up to five minutes prior to their printed return time (presumably to avoid crowds awaiting their window at the beginning of the FASTPASS queue line) and up to 15 minutes after the close of their FASTPASS window (but no later). Most speculation has centered on this being the next step toward implementation of the NextGen X-PASS system, which will eventually allow on-property guests to make at least some advance attraction reservations, much like advance dining reservations are made. But the important question for the short term is, how will the strict enforcement of FASTPASS return times affect the way you and your family tour Walt Disney World? Will you use FASTPASS more or less frequently? Will it cause you to change anything about your approach? Tell us about your reactions in the comments below!

How will strict enforcement of FASTPASS return times affect your WDW touring?

  • Not at all (63%, 31 Votes)
  • We'll use FASTPASS less often (20%, 10 Votes)
  • We'll use FASTPASS more often (8%, 4 Votes)
  • We'll just do whatever recommends (8%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 49

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12 thoughts to “Monday Poll: How will strict enforcement of FASTPASS return times affect your WDW touring?”

  1. I don’t see this really changing my use of the FP system. We’ll still get them as we normally do, but I can see where they might go unused if we get caught up somewhere and can’t make it back in time.

    I think if they want to strictly enforce the time, they need to make it so that you can pick your time. If I go to Test Track and the window for FP return is the exact same time as my ADR at Le Cellier, I don’t want to have to come back to get an FP later after the window moves back.

  2. Frankly, we didn’t know about the lax enforcement till midway though the last trip, so we are used to sticjing to the windows. Mind you, it made for the “Freaky Friday” on our last full day at WDW once we did lean of it. But for us, it’ll be business as usual

  3. afwdwfan, we had that issue too with TSM and an ADR at Sci-Fi. We got friendly with a family in line for Woody/Buzz who lamented their later return time, so we swapped passes, everyone was happy, but your milage may vary

  4. On our trip last year we were unaware that you could do this until the last day when we had a cm tell us that they are honored anytime after the start time on the ticket. So it wouldn’t have affected us if they changed after then.

    This year we used them past the times, not every time, and everything seemed to flow for us much better. Not having to make sure we were at that area and skipping a short line to something we want to ride. You could enjoy the park a little more. With the change I will probably not get that fast pass as i would not be able to guarantee that i would come back at that time. Especially for rides like TSMM. While i like video games and it is pretty neat, it wouldn’t be something that i would get a fast pass to plan my day around, so i won’t get one.

  5. I got pretty used to getting FastPasses and letting them accumulate in my pocket until later in the day when it fit our schedule to ride. But there’s no sense in complaining that Disney is now enforcing their rules – we had a good run being able to do it the other way, now we’ll adapt and do it a little differently. For the most part we used FPs within the allotted time, so it really won’t affect us too much.

  6. I’m sure we’ll still use the FP’s. It’ll just be a little more planned and a little less spontaneous.

  7. I usually stick to the touring plan, but I also stick to the posted Fastpass return time, so I don’t think it’ll affect me at all.

    I read that Disney estimates 80% of guests adhere to the FastPass return times, within a half-hour window. I think it will affect the Disney regulars more than a vacationing Disney family. The Disney regulars pretty much load up on FastPasses in the morning, then spend the evening riding those rides. A family generally stays in a particular area until all rides are ridden.

    That being said, it will be interesting to see how much, if any, it changes the touring plans.

  8. I think to add to what bunch24 said, it won’t affect the touring plans too much but they will be affected some and make the regular line a little longer. Will be anything that anyone notices, probably not. I do thinks fp will stay available a bit longer though. At the end of the day the same number of riders will ride the ride, it just may end up being less fp used and more fp becoming cheap souvenirs.

  9. I think Andy hit on my one concern abou this change in the first comment. The problem I have with this policy change is that the most popular FASTPASS attracions are already distributing fairly late-in-the-day passes when you grab one near rope drop. But with ADRs made 6-months in advance, there will inevitably be conflicts. It will be interesting to see how Disney deals with those situations. Other issues that I see arising involve what I’d call “ripple effects” – Splash Mountain goes down, pushing back FASTPASS users with earlier return times, gumming up the line compared to later return times, which then causes a conflict with a BTMRR FASTPASS return, which interferes with a lunch ADR . . . And what if that ADR is Cinderella’s Royal Table, and you find yourself getting charged $10/person if you don’t show up to use that ADR?

    What I HOPE ends up happening is that WDW begins drawing out the FASTPASS distribution process a bit. There’s no reason that the machines should dispense all available FPs by 11 a.m. Why not have machines dispense FPs through, say, 3:30 p.m. return times starting at rope drop. But then start distributing FPs with later return times at around 12:30 p.m.? That might help blunt some of the crazy FP machine rushes at attractions like TSMM and Soarin’.

  10. Another thing i have heard some say and i agree it would help a bit is to make the time on the FP longer.

    I do feel sorry and wouldn’t want to be a CM at the FP entrance for the next year though. Although maybe I am wrong and it won’t be that bad and no one notices any changes. Who knows. Only time will tell.

  11. On the ADR/FP issue…I would say have your ADR meal…then show your receipt to the FP line cast member…I would say with a valid excuse like that they would/should allow you entry.

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