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Why FastPass+ doesn't work well for most Walt Disney World guests

FastPass+ at Walt Disney World

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Recently Walt Disney World in Florida decided to replace the popular paper FASTPASS system with a new electronic version. Called FastPass+, guests can now schedule their times instead of having to take a paper ticket for a certain time frame. Walt Disney World resort guests can reserve their times online up to 60 days in advance, while those who aren't staying on Disney property need to visit a FastPass+ kiosk when they enter a park.

You'll need to look for these signs if you want to try the new system
You'll need to look for these signs if you want to try the new system
Paula Kennedy

One major complaint about FastPass+ is that you can only reserve three spots a day, and they all have to be in the same park. With the old system you could use as many passes each day as you wanted, but you could only have one at a time. Many Disney resort guests seem to like the ability to reserve spots ahead of time, but Annual Passholders are upset because that option is not available to them.

Once you are inside the park, you will need to find a FastPass+ kiosk. There aren't enough of them and the lines quickly grow long. Disney has been trying to cut down on the wait by having cast members with portable tablets assisting guests throughout the parks as well, but the lines are still long. The kiosks also do not work very well. They use a touchscreen, but it requires more than a light touch for the information to register.

The spots for the most popular rides will go early, so if you are not at the park when it opens you will end up with the leftovers. The new system does not print your times for you, but there is an option to have an email sent so that you will not forget. Almost everything has a FastPass+ time, you can now schedule a spot in a reserved section for IllumiNations, for example. If you want to change your times it is possible. The easiest way to do that is to stand in line at a kiosk again and ask a cast member for help.

With the new system you can link your times with other guests, so if you are at a park with a group you can all reserve your times together. That won't work, though, if you don't all want to experience the same attractions.

To make things even more confusing, both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios offer their FastPass+ in tiers. You can pick one attraction from Experience One and two from Experience Two. That means that guests need to choose between some of the more popular rides like Toy Story Midway Mania! and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, because they are both Experience One attractions.

While FastPass+ is supposed to make things easier for everyone, the only people that it works for is those who are staying at Disney resorts. Even resort guests do not like that only three times can be scheduled each day. While the official Walt Disney World website claims that the service is supposed to make your vacation experience better, all that it does is frustrate guests.