Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fast Pass Plus Takes the Next Step at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Fast Pass Plusses have been a major topic here at Jambo Everyone and Radio Harambe. It clearly will change the way we tour the parks and book our vacations.Testing has been ongoing and, well, to say to mixed reviews might be an understatement. By some accounts, it has been a disaster. According to wdwmagic, the testing will be amped up a notch starting December 18th.

To date, the only guests "enjoying" fast pass plus options have been resort guests. Plus, you were able to use the old paper fast pass system if you chose to do so. Well, that's about to change and the Animal Kingdom gets first crack. Next week, guests from anywhere, on site or off, will be able to use the fast pass plus system. And they better, because that will be the only fast passes available.

OK. So what attractions will be in the system? Well most of them, really. The Adventurer's Outpost, Everest, Kilimanjaro, Primeval Whirl, Kali, Dinosaur and the shows, Lion King, Nemo and It's Tough to be a Bug. For those off site guests and anyone else who doesn't have a magic band to pre-book fast passes must use a kiosk specially created for dealing with fast passes. These are located at Kali River Rapids, Primeval Whirl, Everest, Creature Comforts (on Discovery Island), and right outside of Disney Outfitters, also at Discovery Island. Guests without magic bands will get RFID tickets to enter the park and use these kiosks.

Several things jump to mind. First of all, non-resort guests will have to rope drop the kiosks now, not the Safari or Everest, which seems strange to me. These kiosks and there are only 5, will likely be disasters. I wonder if it will turn out to be better just to forget them and run to the big attractions first anyway. I guess we will see.  I will also be very interested to see how quickly fast passes book for the big attractions now that everyone will be using the "FP+." Remember, the Animal Kingdom is not on the tier system. At least, not yet.

And also, why on Earth is Disney testing this on December 18th? The busiest days of the year. Shouldn't they be trying this out in, I don't know, say late January? As it is, reports say the kinks are not out of the fast pass plus system. Its not quite working right for some, it takes longer to get through the line with this system. Lines for fast passes have gotten longer than usual in some cases due to these delays.

There is no word on how long this will be in place. I have been told (by our travel agent partner) that it very well may be just one day but elsewhere I have heard it will be longer. Either way I will be interested to see what will happen.

by Safari Mike (@JamboEveryone)

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