Defunctland: FastPass A Complicated History

Although true, the simulation is actually AK using a supported data from Touring plans. To me that implies the results are a lot more accurate than some would think.


Although, even with FP+, this happened quite a bit. I don’t think I have ever seen a wait for Figment, for example, even with FPs pushing people there. I think it helps distribute people a bit, but only as much as people prioritize such rides. If a person has limited time to get things done, they are still likely to skip the rides and attractions they don’t care about as much even if there is a free FP.

I don’t think that’s known yet. Having the data doesn’t mean the model is correct. As someone who works with data and models every day, I can tell you that you can have the best data in the world, but your model can make the wrong assumptions about that data. Take a look at Genie (not Genie+). Disney has a ton of data on their operations, but their prediction model is horrible.

Now, I suspect the model is decent. But models like this Can take years to get right - it’s very hard to predict human behavior, And I’m sure if someone studied the model in their code, some questions would be brought up. And again this is not a criticism, it’s just the way these things go.

Agree, but say if capacity utilization was 50% pre-FP+ for a specific attraction, and then it changed to 80%. That’s a lot more people using that attraction’s free space.

True, but a difference was made enough to clearly show up in the data. The majority doesn’t need to change their ways, a minority can make all the difference when collecting average data.


The optimist in me thinks if Disney sees MK and HS (and Epcot once GOTG CR opens) selling Genie+ a lot more they will build more attractions at AK to compensate.


I would like G+ to fail miserably so that Disney starts to think outside the box on how to solve the over-crowding problem. To me they are sacrificing guest satisfaction to try and solve the overcrowding problem while at the same time trying to satisfy their shareholders insatiable appetites.

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That’s the whole topic of the video. They were trying to maximize throughput on rides and minimize customer time spent in lines. They assumed revenue and guest satisfaction would follow along if they fixed the first two.

The question could be if you only got 3-4 rides but never waited a minute in line, would you be satisfied? How many rides do you need to go on to feel satisfied? Weirdly I thought Len has mentioned the magic number is 10 rides but this video implies it’s much lower.

So if you have throughput to support 38,000 guests daily (AK) and the average is 3 rides per guest, you have about 114,000 seats of capacity. How do you best distribute those equitably and so that guests have maximum satisfaction? How do you also maximize the revenue generated from those 114,000 seats?

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What I think the G+ problems are really pointing out isn’t the problem with G+ itself. It is the problem of not enough ride capacity at the parks for the number of people to do any sort of fast lane. For anything like this to work, there needs to be enough other stuff to do that doesn’t have a fast lane to keep people happy. The reason that a virtual queue system works at Universal’s water park is that while you are waiting for your next reserved ride, even on the busiest days, you can do the fast river, the slow river or the wave pool. Those three were entertaining enough, that we had to force ourselves to take eating time. On non super busy days there are slides that you can get on really quickly, and only the most popular ride runs out of reservations. Contrast that with Disney World where a majority of the Fast Pass opportunities aren’t really fast pass things, but stuff that was added because there wasn’t enough stuff requiring a fast pass for the number of fast passes they wanted to issue.


For the “no fastpass” scenario?

Thinking about this some more. Maybe they’ll be motivated to bring meet-n-greets back to full capacity, and then make them G+. For the same reason that they added meet-and-greets to the Fast Passes.

Another thing they could do is to limit the number of people allowed to buy G+. This would encourage people to add it to their tickets. Then they could allow people to add it to their resort stay. Could be like the dining plan where you are charged by the night, but can use it from check-in to check-out day. I truly think Disney IT is completely incapable of allowing the purchase of G+ for specified days ahead of time.


Yes, the fact that in the graph, the average standby time and total time in line are different… My thinking is that average standby measures all standby lengths over the course of the day across all attractions, and total time in line represents what an average guest can expect to spend in line. These two numbers may be different because average guests may visit a couple of attractions at their peak time and not necessarily at their lowest time…

Am I in the ballpark here? cc @ryan1


They will absolutely have to. I’m shocked they aren’t incorporating photopass stations into lightning lanes. I think they will eventually. I’m really curious where the line they will cross that guest satisfaction drops off when everything needs to be booked in advance vs spontaneity.

Today’s blog post has a bit on the Defunctland video:

Len wrote this blurb about the video:

LEN TESTA: From the day it was introduced, Disney theme park fans have debated FASTPASS’ effect on lines. Most people (including us) agreed that FastPass+ made at least some standby wait times go up, The big unanswered question was whether smart use of FastPass+ at some rides could overcome not using FastPass+ at the others, so your overall wait time in line throughout the day was lower.

That’s a big question. Thank goodness Kevin Perjurer came along and answered it. A new video for Kevin’s Defunctland channel explores the history of how FastPass came to be. By writing a complex computer simulation of an actual theme park (called “Shapeland”), Kevin also shows us how FASTPASS and FastPass+ affected how long we wait in line.

Defunctland’s FastPass video is important for a number of reasons. It explains the real reasons why Disney implemented FASTPASS in the late 1990s, and why they paid over $1 billion to overhaul it around 2010. And it shows how different kinds of park guest were affected by these changes. What started out as an Industrial Engineer’s dream to reduce waits, then to increase guest satisfaction, eventually became more important to the company as a revenue stream.

Besides being informative, Kevin’s video is fast-paced, funny, and has great visuals. I guarantee that by the end of this video, you’ll be looking for “I Survived The Triangle” t-shirts to wear. ~END


Agreed. AP holders aren’t likely to use G+ (especially local AP holders), and they are often times the ones that have learned to exploit any of the FP systems (or boarding groups, for that matter. I know some AP holders who have ridden RotR dozens of times, but I am will to bet they won’t now if they have to pay $15 or wait over an hour to ride it).


The part that I found interesting was the graph that was skewed to the right showing the number of rides a park guest was getting under FP+. Most guests were falling in the 1-3 range whereas a few guests were in the 6, 7, 8 (or more…39 LOL!) range. As I watched that part, I thought, “Yep, that’s me and a few thousand touring plans users right there!”

Both FP systems were zero sum games. If you got to skip a large line at one place, then there was a large line somewhere else. However, that didn’t mean that I was the one hitting a longer line…it could have been another party dealing with the longer line that I created by getting a shorter line elsewhere!


When I saw that I was thinking of the four parks one day challenge people. I’ve always wanted to try that. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Nothing but Figment, all day long. I think I could top 39!

I only got to 18 on one of my previous trips 39 seems pretty impossible to me.

DLJ still had paper fast passes when I last went in 2019. The locals rarely used them except for toy story mania. I kid you not, there were return times LOWER than the posted standby times! Regularly you would see standby times of 30min+ and FP with 5 min return (I took pictures for VttCotE, ST, SM to name a few). I still find them in my bag occasionally as we would be picking them up constantly, riding, getting another, re riding. move to the next, pick up, ride, reride etc. Certainly I got at least 10FP a day without trying and that was on top of regular queuing for other things.

39 seems anomalous somehow, That is some dedicated riding - although if I wanted to ride VttCotE 39 times I probably could have with FP as noone seemed to be picking up the FP for it. It was well placed but the signage wasnt great.

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That was re-riding the same exact ride over and over and over and the ride was one that never had a wait. So, effectively circling around. I love love love rerides. But, 7 re-rides is the max I’ve ever done back-to-back. So, yes, anomalous.