Crowd Increase - When will FP+ Return?

Looking at the wait times especially on the weekend, the E ticket rides are in excess on 60 minutes. Whether the wait lines are spread out and quickly move for social distancing or not, 60+ minutes are 60+ minutes.

I have not been back since the parks have reopened, however, reading blogs, watching vlogs, etc., I know the FP+ lines are currently being used for line routing.

So, in your opinion:

  1. When will FP+ return because of the crowds?
  2. Will FP+ come back similar to Max Pass?

All we have heard is the smaller crowds.

With the shortened park hours and the wait times, I would rather the park be at a 9-10 crowd calendar with FP+ using Turning Plans

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The FP lines are used for VIP tours, DAS and rider switch.

As for the return of Fastpasses there is no word on that. Speculation is when it returns the FP+ system will be replaced with a new system, likely not a direct clone of Maxpass but a hybrid system including a paid option of some kind.

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More discussion here:

My suspicion is that they will not bring back any kind of FP system until social distancing is eased. I just don’t see how it would work very well logistically because the lines have to take so much space currently. Not saying it couldn’t work in some way but that’s just my thought. I would love to see all virtual queues but I don’t know how that would go over with the masses. It will be interesting to see what developes but I think we’re in a holding pattern for now until the parks can go back to normal capacity.

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So, would love to learn from other Liners who’ve been there under new WDW conditions like @DisneyDayDreamin @Randall1028 @Dreamer @Wahoohokie – many other so please chime in.

I did not see the FP+ lines used for social distancing purposes across the board. Every now and then to move things, maybe a few (3 or 4?) times during my 8 day stay.

I saw FP lines not used, or used for DAS (which is usual). Didn’t see them used to expand regular stand-by lines, I think. Happy to be wrong if others saw otherwise.

So My think – limited to my limited perhaps Pooh brain (think, think, think) – is that it is more about managing flow with minimal variables. Disney is figuring out what this all means to reduce capacity, go fully stand-by. They have data on how FP affects things under usual (won’t say Normal since @ppehap reminds me of my laundry :slight_smile: ) operating conditions, but they don’t yet know how FP plus CoVID crowds plus cleaning plus other unexpected affects things. So take away a variable as long as wait times are not that horrific and the completely committed WDW denizens (us) are willing to put up with longer, but shorter than past few years, lines.

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Disney should offer all resort guests (less campground guests) 1 free FP per day during limited offerings. That would tip the scales to get the resorts full. Heck, Id pay for FP at this point.

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Shhhhhh! They might be listening.

:wink:

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I do think they need to do something to help with longer wait times. DS and I were there last Monday (MK) and w/o my DAS I wouldn’t have been able to do much of anything. So to the something: they’ve already started to lengthen park hours. I’m sure they’re collecting data to figure it out. Normal is a setting on your drier… Good memory :crazy_face: what will the new normal be? :sunglasses:

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Or the “now normal”. I’m hoping whatever is happening now isn’t the new normal!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Well, the season premiere of TWD is on tonight! And that’s probably the most normal thing to 2019 that I got!

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Our experience was pretty much the same as what you described (although I don’t remember FP+ lines being used for social distancing–really only for rider swap and DAS).

Yup, the FPP lines were used for FPPs, which is why their lines weren’t used for crowd control at all. FPP are still there and active for when a ride goes down and you are given one. There’s also certain groups who get multiple FPPs still.

Myself, I ended up getting a FPP for MMRR when it went down the one day. And Rise was also using theirs for he same reason (shock of shocks). Oh and also when Mission Space went down, they gave me a very useless fastpass :laughing:… So if you see people using FPP, don’t freak out.

As far as FPPs coming back in full, I definitely see it happening pretty soon, but I have a feeling not until the beginning of next year. Mainly because right now, they’re EXTREMELY “valuable”. A FPP will suddenly give you back a lot of time and with no ride using them regularly, when a guest gets one, they are appeased a whole lot more than before, I would imagine. So during this Covid Time, where a lot fo things are reduced/removed/unavailable and things are still breaking down at their normal rate, having FPP picking up the slack as an “apology” is smoothing a lot of ruffled feathers. And for the holiday season, when things are gonna go nuts, they’re going to go even further to calm an irate guest should something happen. (Speaking of, that’s another reason I see them coming back, it’s so easy (and at almost zero cost) to calm a guest with a few Fast Passes. You take those away and Disney is going to have find something else that does the same thing, which is going to be insanely hard to do)

The functionality is all there already and there’s a lot of (a whole lot of) complaining about waiting in long lines now, and coupled with the reduced hours, people are starting to stay away because of this alone. So if the lines continue to grow, but still everything is still under “covid conditions”, we could see them return sooner rather than later.

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I had actually thought of something similar. If FPP doesn’t return in full to all guests, and with free MBs going the way of the dodo, I see Resort guests getting a compliment of daily FPPs while those who are staying off site will have to either do without, get them the day of, or pay for them ahead of time.

My problem is I don’t want guests to get “only 3” per day and that’s it. The system before was dicey, but it at least allowed for sometimes-spontaneous extra rides on popular attractions. There were a few times where the day’s winding down, HM or something has a stupid long wait, but an FPP would appear cutting that to almost nothing. It was a great morale boost.

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So, 1 value, 2 moderate, 3 deluxe. Additional FPs at park. Non Disney guest, day of, after in park, booking like old paper FP system (just no paper, however they do now w/o magic band). Additional resort guest FPs follow same guidelines as non resort guests. Think it was u could get a new FP after 2 hr wait or next FP was used, something like that.
Hahaha, like we have any say!

Yeah, something like that. Myself, I’d rather see the same number of FPPs regardless of where you stay(or the baseline be at least 3), cause you are still spending a lot to stay on property anyway, and there are seemingly fewer and fewer incentives to do so. So just 1 FPP might not be enough to convince someone into a value-stay vs an off-site-stay. But, yeah, the general idea remains.

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I also experienced once in Toy Story Mania where about halfway through the CMs pulled a line of guests – including me – into the FP line, I guess to manage a backup? But generally, not. And yes, it did look like there were guests with Fps, though of course they could have been DAS, which certainly there was too.

I hope Disney brings some form of FPs back before my December trip. I would pay for them (though not sure how much…)

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I’m always down on FPP. I am glad they are gone, and hope they don’t return. I’ve iterated why many times.

However, I would like to suggest that now, more than ever, FPP would make things even worse. Because in the “old days” (pre-COVID), Disney’s hope was that the time you “saved” by using a FPP meant you would shift your time into other attractions with more capacity such a shows, or into shops, or eating, etc. But, right now? All of those things are limited…and, in fact, the reduced capacity in shows is actually making those attractions have longer lines. (For example, Carousel of Progress has NEVER been more than a 10 minute wait for us…and yet, in August, it was one of the longest waits of our trip!)

Remember that FPP just shifts waits around. It doesn’t actually reduce average wait time across the board. For the time you save in one line, you will wait LONGER in the other lines. If you are particularly savvy, you can work the system to your benefit…but on average, it is a wash. And right now, it is even more so. Because if they re-introduced FPP right now, sure, you’d get to have shorter waits for those particular rides, but your other waits will be increased even more than usual because there are limited options.

If Disney wants to fix their line problem, it isn’t by re-introducing FPP. They need to increase attraction capacity. But the truth is, Disney ultimately doesn’t care if you have to wait 45 minutes for a ride versus 25 minutes UNLESS it leads to enough dissatisfaction in enough people that they won’t be willing to come. And I think this is why we’ve been seeing Disney lengthen their park hours on several days in October. Longer hours can spread the crowds/wait times out a bit.

So, the ways to increase attraction capacity?

  1. Increase park hours (as mentioned above.)

  2. Increase ride capacity. For Omnimover rides, this isn’t really possible. They are already running pretty much as 100% capacity anyhow, other than downtime for cleaning. And for other rides, increasing capacity would mean reducing social distancing on the rides themselves, which would be risky. Although, there are signs Disney is putting up more dividers on some rides in hopes to eek out a bit more capacity.

  3. Open up more non-ride attractions, such as shows. This would help some. But since shows basically have 1/4 the capacity they once did, it doesn’t help as much as it used to. You’ll still have long waits for shows…but it does pull those people waiting out of the other lines throughout the park.

  4. Open up more places to eat. (Which they are gradually doing.)

Here’s the rub, though. Doing the above things don’t help Disney make more money. Number 4 you could argue does…but not really. All it really does is shift WHERE people are buying their food. Most people will still end up eating pretty much the same (spend the same).

What Disney wants to do is drive up revenues. Which means if they want to increase capacity of attractions they would do so in order to allow more people into the parks, which increases revenue, and does NOT decrease wait times. So, if the average wait time is 45 minutes, then if they do all the measures needed to reduce wait times they could, the average wait time maybe drops to 30 minutes…but then Disney will increase park capacity, which will just raise the wait times again.

The only real advantage and hope I see of Disney making FPP available again (other than a paid version) in the short term is if they feel the psychological benefit it offers (since it doesn’t really offer any ACTUAL benefit) to people THINKING they are avoiding long waits is enough to keep people booking trips. But since they are now pretty much booking park capacity right now, that isn’t too important to them. But if they wait to raise park capacity from the ~25% today to 50%, say, perhaps.

ETA: I should mention that expanding hours has the potential to drive up revenues because if people are in the parks longer, they might have another meal or another snack, etc.

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Hmmmm, maybe. I would for a prebooked FP but thats me.