Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Changes Being Made to Policies for FastPass and ADR's

There has been a lot of dialogue in the past few weeks regarding the major decisions at Disney to change the policies of the FastPass system as well as the Advanced Dining Reservation. These changes can and will have a major affect on Disney park goers, especially in the coming future.

The policy for the FastPass system has really always been on place. As we slip our park ticket into the receptacle, we are given a FastPass with strict time constraints. These cards offer us a one hour window in which we may redeem our FastPasses for a ride on the attraction via the FastPass line (which is supposed to be much shorter than the stand-by line). This system seems foolproof, however it has become a Disney practice of not allowing people to redeem their FastPasses before their scheduled time (sounds logical) but to allow people to return much later than their times to ride the attraction. This has diluted the rules of the system, and has cause many guests to decide to take advantage of Disney's gratuitous flexibility. This causes many issues as we see FastPass lines to become overloaded, and that in turn adversely affects the stand-by line.

The enforced policy will allow park patrons to arrive 5 minutes before their FastPass begins and up to 15 minutes after it expires. What we hear is that is it! No more will we see people with six hours old FastPasses on the lines. This should help keep both the FastPass and Stand-By lines moving, and though it will be an adjustment to some guests, the consensus is that it will be a benefit to the overall park experience. Personally, I am in agreement that something needed to be done to make the system work on a more optimal level. There have been many times in which the FastPass lines were out of control because  large groups would show up hours late to their repot times. There was a reason that the system was created to only give a certain amount of FastPasses per hour. This made that plan and idea relatively useless. This policy enforcement will bother some, but majority of people will be pleased I am pretty sure.

With the news about the FastPass system changes comes the change to the policy for Disney ADR's. There has been a major problem in the resort over the past few years with guests making reservations and not arriving for them. This would not be a problem if not for the fact that most times there was never a cancellation of these reservations, and thus the restaurant would be unable to give a table to any walk-up guests. the new policy change will require guests to leave a credit card number to make the reservation. They will also require cancellations be made 24 hours prior to the reservation. Unlike the situation with the enforcement of FastPass, I think people are much more concerned with this one. The reason is because many (myself included) are concerned with what happens when something unexpected occurs in the park that specific day. What would occur when your child is not feeling well, and you must cut your day short? Or you cannot get to the park where your reservation is because of weather (this happened to me as they shut down the water taxis from MGM to EPCOT) The question becomes how flexible they will be with the 24 hour window when an extenuating circumstance occurs. Will they be forgiving, or will they still charge you the $10 fee. This has I'm sure become an out of hand situation, but I trust Disney is prepared for such issues to arise. Let's see how these thing happen as they are set to begin in the coming future, with the FastPass policy being enforced in March.

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