The Wrong Way to Book FastPass+ – by Carol Kneece
I just returned from a Walt Disney World® vacation with myself, my son, and an additional five family members. My son and I are Annual Passholders but the other members of our group bought their park passes at different times. Our travel week was for spring break in Florida so I tried to make the most of the FassPass+ reservation system at the 60+ window, scheduling FastPass+ access for myself and my son. I thought it would be simple to connect the rest of the family to the reservations after they purchased their park passes. Unfortunately, we had nothing but problems trying to connect all of our FassPass+ reservations. First, the lines at the FastPass+ Kiosks were very long. Next, the original rides I booked did not have availability for more people. I sure made a mess. After going to several FastPass+ kiosks, I gave up! We decided to head to each of the rides explaining we could not connect our group. Some of the Cast Members did not want to let our group into the attractions. They grumbled and had to get manager approval, but we were eventually allowed in as a group. At Epcot I could not change any of my FastPass+ reservations because there was nothing available to change to. They were totally out of FastPass+ time slots of the various attractions! A Cast Member explained it is – first come first serve. I also experienced problems with using the My Disney Experience APP on my phone. At times I could not access the APP at all. The lesson I learned here is you MUST reserve your FastPass+ spots for ALL members of your party at the same time. It is more than likely, especially during a busy time, that you will not be able to coordinate FastPass+ times once you arrive at the parks.
With talk of adding an additional set of FastPass+ reservations after the initial 3 are used, I foresee some very large problems – most importantly the additional time slots for attractions not being available. The demand is much higher than the supply of slotted times for attractions. And of course everyone likes to see and ride the best attractions!
On the other hand, the Magic Bands worked well for meals, snacks, pictures, and purchases. In conclusion, due to supply and demand, Disney may have to do something more with the FastPass+ system to keep guests happy – especially those guests that for one reason or another fail to make selections for their entire party in advance.