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Arts & Culture

The wins and fails of Disney’s new FastPass+

Does FastPass+ live up to the hype, or is it the anti-Christ of amusement parks?

Photo: PHOTO BY SETH KUBERSKY, License: N/A

PHOTO BY SETH KUBERSKY


Early birds no longer get the worm: It used to be virtually impossible to ride Epcot’s Soarin’ or Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios unless you arrived when the park opened; by noon, the standby queue would be hours long and all FastPasses long gone. Now you can prebook E-tickets for after lunch, using FastPass+ to skip the rope-drop and sleep in.

Bad news for early birds: It’s currently impossible to book FastPass+ at multiple parks per day, or transfer remaining reservations to a different park once you’ve used one. That sucks for anyone who paid extra for park-hopper passes and wants to make the most of them.

Less standing in line: Replacing turnstiles with RFID admission scanners has improved congestion at park entrances, and FastPass+ seems to be distributing attendance more evenly, reducing peak waits at top rides.

More standing in line: FastPass+ entrances are often clogged with guests fumbling with wristband scanners, and adding the system at C-ticket rides like Journey Into Imagination has turned perpetual walk-ons into 15-minute waits, negating any net time savings.

Reschedule reservations if you need to: FastPass return times were take-it-or-leave-it, but you can adjust FastPass+ reservations through the app as long as other time slots are available.

You’ll need to reschedule reservations: Between backed-up FastPass+ lines, slower standby queues and frequent ride breakdowns, you’re unlikely to keep all your appointments without on-the-fly adjustment.

You won’t have to wait hours to meet Anna and Elsa: Starting April 20, the über-popular Frozen sisters are moving from their always-overwhelmed meet-and-greet in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion to Magic Kingdom’s Princess Fairytale Hall, which offers FastPass+ access.

You’ll have to wait 30 days to meet Anna and Elsa: Reservations to see the siblings are currently unavailable through the entire Annual Passholder booking window. Either check the app daily at midnight for openings, or convince your kids to “Let It Go.”

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