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5 ESSENTIAL Warnings for Users of Disney's FastPass+ System

FastPass+

Disney's recently updated FastPass+ system is still a work in progress. Theme Park Tourist evaluates the problems.

This column involves a first person account of a Walt Disney World visitor’s experiences with FastPass+. For those of you not familiar with FastPass+, it replaces a well behaved earlier iteration that required physical visits to the various rides. Customers were provided a ticket and allowed to come back later to enjoy the ride with little to no standing in line. The modified version of FastPass+ enables people to pre-book their ride experiences as early as two months prior to a visit to the themepark. As with anything nascent technology, however, the initial phase of implementation is a bit…tricky.

Let me start by validating something long time Disney visitors may have suspected for a while now. Unlike the prior system, FastPass+ is not your friend. If anything, it is your frenemy. There is a basic intention to help, at least on some level, yet the overall behavior is unmistakable. FastPass+ wants to drink your tears early and often. Perhaps this statement sounds hyperbolic on the surface. Please allow me to recount five different ways FastPass+ as currently implemented is a love/hate system leaning strongly toward hate.

1. The tiered system is a harsh mistress

Maleficent must be the person in charge of the mercurial FastPass+ system. Image © Disney

Anyone who has ever traversed the entirety of Walt Disney World realizes that a poorly planned day at the park easily evolves into an unscheduled half-marathon. I am not exaggerating on the point, either. On my most recent trip to Orlando, I utilized my Fitbit, a device that tracks steps taken during the course of a day. On three of the first four days I visited the parks, I walked at least 13.1 miles, the accepted distance for a half-marathon. My “slow” day required only 12 miles of crisscrossing the various parks. Why did I pick my family vacation as the perfect opportunity to get in shape? Well, that was not a conscious decision on my part.

The current FastPass+ system is much different from previous iterations in that the user may only select one prime ride. The other two FastPass+ options are for lesser rides, presumably ranked according to popularity and wait time. Those who have a working knowledge of the geography of various parks would have no issues selecting navigational options. For people such as me who have not been to Disney in a while, the FastPass+ is Loki, the trickster deity of Norse mythology.

Consider that I was analytical about my three selections. In evaluating the various wait times of rides at Hollywood Studios, I determined that the venues with the longest waits are Toy Story Mania and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. What I failed to research was locality. Please learn from my mistake.

If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, look at a map of the various ride positions before choosing your FastPass+ options. Otherwise, you will wind up in a situation such as mine wherein my party walked right past the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith multiple times in order to visit the other predetermined rides, thereby adding approximately a mile to our step count. Conversely, if you want to work off a few more calories in order to cancel out a decadent Disney dessert, follow my illogical plan and you will walk aimlessly for the body of your day. Florida has lovely summer temperatures, little rain and virtually no humidity, right?

2. The fourth FastPass+ is largely a myth

Image © Disney

I am only partially joking. The brain trust at Disney recently reconsidered the inflexible nature of the three FastPass rule. Eventually, they relented with an announcement that people who utilize all three will be allowed to acquire additional FastPass selections. This places the new system in line with the old one, whose rules were effectively “use as many FastPass selections as you want”.

As some of the first people to visit under the new system, we were the guinea pigs for this grand experiment. My party visited Walt Disney World for eight days; ergo, we requested 24 passes ahead of time. Once we arrived, the part of the system that proved to be the sticking point was accessing the recently introduced fourth FastPass.

In order to acquire additional selections, the user must first utilize their MagicBand by touching it to an access point at the designated rides. That sounds simple enough in theory. In execution, the issues are myriad. Some rides, especially the most popular ones, have multiple MagicBand access points. If the user only successfully navigates one of the two, the system will indicate that they have not utilized all of their FastPass requests for the day and thus deny further selections. And the issue is even more convoluted than this surface problem. Occasionally, the access points glitch. When this occurs, the system requires a reboot via system software. During the course of such a scenario, the helpful Disney employees wave consumers through the line, past the access points. That is fantastic news, right? Good lord, no.

By being manually signaled past the FastPass gate, the user never has the ability to utilize their FastPass as demanded by the system. As such, they will be unable to gain additional ones because the software overseeing FastPass+ believes that the user has not met their quota for the day yet.

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There are 52 comments.

Oh dear - what a mess! Mickey what have you done? !! Not since you tried to conjure magic buckets with your wand and Sorcerer's hat, have you caused such complete and utter chaos, you naughty mouse!

Have you not heard of the old adage - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I just hope those in charge at Disney sort this out soon. In fairness its better than Universal's penny pinching attempt at queue busting where you have to pay for the privilege, but its such a shame that Fastpass plus hasn't been thought out better.
I think we need Tinkerbell's pixie dust to fit it!

Disney used to charge for fast pass. You got to go in any fast pass line at any time. There was no taking tickets and waiting to come back at another time. Growing up we went almost every year and my parents always forked out the extra cash for the fast pass and it was totally worth it. There were also no limits. If they had that option again I would pay for it, all depending on the time of year we went of course. We have the option of not going at peak times, where something like that isn't really necessary.

I believe you are mistaken! Disney created the concept of the fastpass but has NEVER CHARGED for it. Universal on the other hand does charge for their fastpass service or other parks like six flags do also for whatever they call their system.
Disney didn't charge for it.

I believe you are mistaken! Disney created the concept of the fastpass but has NEVER CHARGED for it. Universal on the other hand does charge for their fastpass service or other parks like six flags do also for whatever they call their system.
Disney didn't charge for it.

I have been to Disney World 183 tmies (visits,not days) and fast pass has always been free.
One thing not discussed here yet is that you can't get passes for a different park for the evening. So much for park hopping. Only Disney could -----up a good system this completely. By the way,my magic band never would open my hotel room door or the vehicle security gate.

I think you are confusing fast pass with the old ETickets that you could buy for the extra hours after closing. Fast Pass has always been free.

Sorry, we have gone to Disney World every year since it opened in 1971. I don't remember ever having the option to buy a fast pass.

I have just returned from a second trip in May and wanted to point out regarding #2 - as long as it is passed the time of your 3rd FastPass+ and it has expired - you can book subsequent passes without using the 3rd. So in theory, if all of your FP are for morning times and you didn't make it to any of them. once the last one expires you can book additional for the afternoon (in theory) unfortunately availability of additional passes later in the day is the larger problem.

We are here now and it is hell!!!! I was so excited about all the next gen technology. It is very much a work in progress - a maddening one! We had breakfast with The Mad Hatter this morning...pretty convinced he got that way by trying to use his magic band and fast passes!!!

We went in October and had absolutely no problems. This article, while informative, makes it all sound a lot more confusing then what it is. We planned our Fastpass+ picks at home, then changed them about a week before we went to make it work better around a dining reservation. The bracelets worked every time we entered a park and every time we used one of our Fastpass choices. Any new technology is going to have glitches to work out, but I think it is a wonderful idea. We saved at least 3 hours of valuable time each day by not standing in line or running around trying to get paper Fastpasses. (Only to show up half of the time to find out that all of the passes were taken for the day) And why does anyone need that fourth pick? Isn't three enough? I have been visiting 1-2 times a year for the last 18 years and I have never gotten three or more Fastpasses in a day, even with the old system. Three is plenty and it keeps some kind of spontaneous nature to your vacation without trying to cram too much in.

I agree. I haven't had the opportunity to use the magic bands yet but we have only used about 2 or 3 passes a day while park hopping. The key to Disney no matter what is to get there early. Besides, when you got a fast pass you couldn't get another one until the time for the one you held had expired. There were really more limits than people claim the magic bands have.

If you haven't been here since April 28th...it is an entirely different situation. Annual pass holders and others can now book ahead as well. Which means some days start out with NO fast passes available. So you get 1 very popular fast pass - if you pre-book it and 2 sort of ok fast passes...then nada. Nothing. They must improve this system
In a hurry. The other injustice is that cast members and their guests can't prebook - so they are left with scraps or no fast passes. We have both ticket holders and cast guests in our family. This system
Is a great idea but has had an Obamacaresque roll-out!

If the cast members find the fast pass system to be unacceptable then they can always purchase a regular one day ticket or annual pass and get what they think they are missing out on. I mean they are all ready getting complementary access to all four parks. Thats a huge perk in itself.

With any new technology anywhere there is a trial and error. ...cut them some slack. If everyone would stop micro managing their day, things would be fine...relax and do something spontaneous

The Fast Pass system takes spontaneous out of the picture. Although there were parts of this system I liked, the ability to be spontaneous has vanished.

I have hated the FastPass system from the day it started. I yearn for the days when a guest went to a ride and waited their turn to enjoy the ride. For every person that boards an attraction with a FastPass, someone else, who has been waiting in line for that same attraction, has to wait that much longer.

Couldn't agree more! I wish they would do away with FP.

I have recently used y magic band for the first time and I love it !
1. It came within two days of me ordering it.
2. I was able to pre plan my entire two days with shows
and rides.
3. I had no problems whatsoever and it overall
Improved my visit.

Visited two weeks ago and no trouble obtaining additional passes, you must be in the park where you want the pass

Just returned from a 9 day trip to WDW . never had a issue with fast pass or changing them. I think you are way dramatizing things sorry but......
the ages we had with us where 11, 7, 7 months so a wide verity for what they wanted /could do .
I'm glad Disney at least is moving forward with technology.
Disney fan scents 1961

I don't smell anything.

Thanks for the update on this. My trip is still a ways off- not going until August but watching and listening to the experiences of todays travellers.

Wish there was a way to view your upcoming Fastpass times as we forgot our printout from when we booked the Fastpass times in our hotel room. Noticed we were not the only ones this happened to. At least the paper ones told us what time our next Fastpass would work so we weren't guessing.

If you have a smartphone or similar device, the "My Disney Experience" app does keep handy track of your Fastpasses, as well as your dining reservations. It does about a bajillion other things as well. We went 20-26 April and I used the app constantly to manage our time in the parks. I made and modified Fastpass and dining reservations on the fly the whole week long! It's a great (and FREE) app! Check it out!

Wife and i went in november 2013. Had bands and fp reserved via online. Got to a ride late and cast member denied our use of the fp. I was not pleased. Old paper was good all day.

Actually, the old paper ones were NOT good all day. You were still supposed to be limited to the hour indicated on the ticket. Yes, there were CMs who would still wave you through late, but that was not SOP, and was frowned upon (and rarely, if ever, happened at the big E-ticket attractions).

We got a stern dressing down when we were 5 min late for a paper fast pass 2 yrs ago. Cast members were instructed to turn people away but they hated to do it.

Just returned from 7 days staying on site at Disney. We did not have any Fast Pass problems, but my sons Magic Band quit on him by day 2 (unbeknownst to us until we got to the Magic Kingdom one day). Found out at MK entry gate that it did not work. We were quickly directed to the Guest Relations building on the right before you enter the MK. We had to stand in line there to explain what happened. They gave us a card (looks like a credit card) for him to use in place of his Magic Band. To get a new Magic Band for him, we had to go to the My Magic + Service Center in the Town Square Theater which is the first building on your right, after you enter the park. This delayed the start of our day by 30 - 40 minutes. This also caused us to almost miss our 1st Fast Pass of the day, but I was able to use the My Disney app on my iphone to rearrange our Fast Passes. The smart phone app is a great tool. After this, we all checked our Magic Bands on our hotel door before we headed out for the day to make sure they were working. The main thing we learned on our trip, is never assume that a Cast Member has the answer to your questions. We were surprised at the lack of general knowledge most Cast Members had about the area/resort/ride they were working in. Overall, we had fun and look forward to going back.

Visited over spring break for the first time in 8 yrs. Had 12 people in the group from the age of 6 to 81. We were there for 5 days. With a little research before going and the help of one cast member the first day, it was easy. Oh we had the cards not the wristbands.

When can you get your cards? My family will have cards too since we aren't staying on property if I am correct about my understanding of the system.

Your park ticket has a tiny chip in it, so it works as your FastPass+ card, too.

Visited over spring break for the first time in 8 yrs. Had 12 people in the group from the age of 6 to 81. We were there for 5 days. With a little research before going and the help of one cast member the first day, it was easy. Oh we had the cards not the wristbands.

I just got back from Magic Kingdom yesterday. We were able to select 3 FP in advanced, once those are used up, you can select additional FP one at a time only.

Our 3rd FP was Thunder Mtn Railroad and of course it was shut down due to technical issues. We received an email that our FP was expired due to this issue but we were able to use on another ride and in addition would be able to revisit Big Thunder once open again. Each worked perfectly!!

FP kiosks were everywhere and were fully staffed to help out.

Truly enjoyed this FP experience! And can't wait until we can select FP from our phone after initial 3...

We visited WDW in December 2013, yes a very busy time we know, but a one off, FP was rediculas for us as we had a registered disabled child with hidden difficulties, as if that wasn't enough, the cast members although trying to show "concern", we're not helpful, as our child has cognitive inflexability, which basically means he has problems queuing, this was NOT, understood by any cast members. We couldn't get cast members to understand the difficulties this entailed. We tried as we might to explain that, whilst we unstood the the new rules for DISABLED GUESTS, this did NOT help our child, they told us they had policies for children/adults with COGNITIVE issues, oh no they DONT! We asked them how do you tell a child with hidden disabilities, that they can't go on the ride of their choice, as they have to come back at a specific time? Cast members had no answer to this, as one said to us, take it or leave it! We observed several visitors with the same problems as our and these children having MELT DOWNS, as they have no capacity to understand the FASTPAST+ rules, and no explaining from the parents/careers would suffice or calm these children. The change from the guest assistance card, GAC, to the new one is monumental and does NOT work for all disable guests, Disney needs to re-think this out, to make sure their disable guests have as much fun as the abled guests do.
Our visit in December was all but a disaster, the FP+ didn't work for us, our child didn't enjoy his Disney experience as much as he has in the past , so much so we are having a re think as to weather we want to put him through this disaster again or just never return to Disney! We are not the only family to feel this way as we came across others. People who criticise this have NO CONSEPT of how it is to deal with children with hidden disabilities baring in mind there different stages to these disabilities, before anyone says anything!

I think people understand your difficulty, but at the same time Disney is a multi-billion dollar corporation and simply can't make situational choices for each family. Trust me, if they said "Tell us about your child's disability and we'll cater a plan specifically for him or her," not only would they be violating HIPAA laws, but also opening a terrible can of worms. Suddenly EVERYONE would have a reason why THEIR child can't wait in line. Not to say you're lying, just that everyone would have a reason why they needed escorted to the front of ANY line at ANY time, ALL day long, unrestricted.

FastPass, now FastPass+, and certainly Disney's DAP program DO require DEFERRED gratification. That is to say, a child is NOT able to point at a ride and be whisked through its queue immediately. (And honestly, that's life. A harsh lesson and perhaps not ideal for a "dream" vacation, but it's bound to happen.)

However, the program is not some severely unfair thing. You're still provided a benefit that the average guest would kill for. Using the DAP, you can visit ANY kiosk in the park and receive a return time equal to the ride's current wait. You don't have to walk up to the ride, dangle it in front of your child, then be pushed away like scum. No. You send one member of your party to a kiosk while the rest ride attractions with no wait and maybe secure a few FastPass+ reservations ON TOP OF the DAP benefit.

The point I (and Disney) try to make is that this simply can't be handled on a case-by-case basis. Not only would it overwhelm the system, but EVERY family would be CERTAIN that their child needed immediate and unrestricted access, all day, on every ride, no limits. And maybe ideally, YOUR child really COULD benefit from that. But this is an equitable way to distribute those in need of help. You get DAP access (allowing you to get wait-time-based return times all day long) AND FastPass+ allowing you to have three attractions pre-booked.

"How do you tell a child with hidden disabilities, that they can't go on the ride of their choice, as they have to come back at a specific time?" Unfortunately, that's something you - as a parent - will be trusted with teaching your child. Not fun, not easy, not fair. But life is not such that a child, teen, adult, etc. gets to say "I want this and I have special needs to give it to me immediately." Truthfully, it seems a bit of a disservice to allow your child to believe that that's how the world works, even at Disney World. I understand he or she is lacking the concept, but you've got to train for it eventually, and Disney's system is HARDLY the most restrictive, obnoxious, and rude way of doing it. They very sincerely could say "Wait in line and use FastPass. Have a nice day." And they don't. Of course you're your child's greatest advocate - as you should be - but recognize that part of that advocacy is saying "We're very lucky they've given us a system to use here that's going to help. Sometimes we may need to wait, and even if it complicates my vacation, as a parent whose child cannot understand queueing, I'll need to do a lot of pre-planning and pre-assessment to decide how to run this."

I know you'll say I don't get it and that it's not that easy, and I totally agree. But recognize that this system is equitable for everyone. That means some over-benefit and some under-benefit. But it's as close to equitable as the parks can find right now. Just something to think about.

Well Brian although I do appreciate and understand all you have written, we have tried this new way with the DAP, and to be honest for my grandson it does not work, as there is only three in our party and he has to know where each of us are and be able to see us, as if he doesn't he then he goes into a panic which in turn then goes to a melt down, and we DO know how to handle him and try to calm him, but this isn't always as affective as we would like. So you see for us to go to a ride separate from him, to book a return time, ( which we tried) ,is just not an option for us, and even by a remote chance we manged it, he would have, which ever one of us it was that went, that one on the ride without him, melt down number two in progress, it is not easy to bring up or deal with a child with hidden disabilities, such as ADHD and Autism, which my grandson is diagnosed with both. We live and breathe 24/7 with these disabilities, and sorry but unless you have had a great deal of contact with these wonderful children there is no way anyone can even come close to understanding the difficulties, and I'm sure there is many others out there with the same difficulties. I don't understand your U. S.A, laws/regulations as to the proof of these diagnosis' , but I do know in the U.K. We can show a letter of the full diagnosis and it is acceptable and what can be done to help the transistion onto rides etc is made with the best of ease so these children can enjoy them selves with as little problems/meltdowns as possible, and also this is done with the other guests in mind, as no one wants to see a child having these difficulties. Most would probably say that's a spoilt child, as hidden disabilities are not apparent to the naked eye, so unless you know the child, I say don't judge a book by its cover.............

So here's another random problem. We don't leave for our trip until the end of August but the system let me make Fastpass+ reservations for June. I thought the system, once linked to your reservation, would only let you make reservations for the time you are there. If I hadn't canceled them I would have been taking up the slots for days we won't even be in the park.

Epic fail on Disney's part. The old system was FAR superior. We just returned from a week at WDW. When your three fastpasses are up, you have to go stand in line (a long line) at a fastpass kiosk to get a new fastpass. And all of the popular rides are not available. So get ready to stand in line to ride the more popular rides mutiple times on the same day. A couple on attractions were booked up for our entire stay. Our little girl missed out on the Frozen characters because there were no available fastpasses and the sand by line was over three hours.

I planned a last minute Fourth of July trip. It was my first experience with Magic Bands and Fastpass+. It was my 10th trip to Disney and will be my last for a VERY long time. I absolutely hated the "new" system. I tried every day for 3 weeks to get a fastpass for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train before 10:40 at night to no avail. Had the "old way" been in place, I would have gone straight to the ride after park opening to snag a fastpass for later in the day but not for 10:40 at night! Needless to say, I never made the ride after the fireworks it was an utter, complete madhouse. I too crisscrossed the park to use my other 2 fastpasses in a fashion that I have NEVER had to do before. HORRIBLE! I'm no stranger to holiday crowds but this Magic Band, fastpass+ system was the worst I've ever experienced. I will not be going back any time soon.

Early on (last summer and toward Christmas ) when testing was going on. Things were challenging.
All this fuss about not being able to change things is not true. You can easily switch stuff around in ur MDX app or even cancel that 3rd fp you didn't want so you can access a different one. THE REASON U CANT GET 7Dwarfs Mine train is that people staying in resorts can book 60 days out. Try all u want (at least up thru this summer) they were booked 60 days out.
I am pretty experienced at the parks. I DID LOVE THE OLD SYSTEM (b/c people could give me paper fast passes) it allowed me to ride Tower of Terror 56 times in one day (7:40 am-10:40pm). That couldn't happen now :-(
My wife and I did Epcot in spring and just did standby all day...only thing we waited long on was Soarin for 50-60 min.
This summer I had friends with me in the park and some folks were on guest passes (so NO advance fast passes) and we were able to do 2 parks a day and did all the big stuff with only a few fast passes. June 15-16
I personally went to MK mid July at rope drop and walked straight to 7Dwarfs (still 30-40 min), did Peter Pan, haunted mansion, splash mountain, and Pirates and them took a boat back over to Polynesian to eat breakfast at 11:15. So all that in less than 2 hr in the park. Take stuff as it comes..lighten up...don't let the schedule work you...you work the schedule.
Also..THE ANIMAL KINGDOM COMPLAINT..... Scan your tickets into your MDX app and set fast passes for later in the afternoon at whatever park u want....just do AK on the fly..no fast passes.
Get there at open do safari, single rider Everest and whatever u want and head to ur second park after lunch(to use those fast passes u made).
ALSO ANIMAL KINGDOM CAN BE MORE THAN A HALF DAY!! I kno I know I've done that too. Just hit the big stuff and run to the next park. Heck I've done all 4 in 1 day with all night shows included (holiday season..early fantasmic, boat to epcot, illuminations, monorail to MK, walking down Main Street for most of wishes, celebrate the magic projection show on castle, and the. Main str electrical parade. ) and some more rides. 8AM-2AM!!!!!!
But ANIMAL KINGDOM HAS SO MUCH in the way if hidden details and xtra things 90% of people miss because they don't slow down and do some DISCOVERING. MY BEST ADVICE IS.....,settle down, slow down, enjoy those intricate show details that Disney is so well known for! You do not have to do it all on THIS trip. I know some folks will say that they can't go as often as I do, but CHOOSE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!!! Walt was all about providing a quite show.....enjoy it or you just may be running right by something special that 90% of people miss and would love....how's that for a unique and soeciL experience?

Walt was all about a QUALITY show*

I'm sure that Disney will get this worked out. It's a shame that it's disrupting people's vacations, but a bad day at Disney still beats a good day anywhere else. Incidentally, how did you pass Rockin' Roller Coaster 4 times? It's at the end of the road across from Tower of Terror. There is nothing else nearby to pass it for.

We just got back from Disney World and enjoyed the benefits of FastPass+. And we have been many times using the old Fast Pass. I don't agree with this article. The writer remides me of my girls. My girls do not like it when Disney changes anything, even positive changes. And they won't like the fastpass+ merely because it will change what they are used to. The new fast pass system will hurt Amy's roller coaster time. She would use Kaley's fastpass and double up on rides. The new system will prevent that unless Kaley gives up her magicband. What I do l like about the new system is that you don't have to race to the popular rides only to get there and all the fastpasses are gone. Guest had learned how to manipulate the old system and the new system eliminates the manipulation. Most people couldn't get more than 4 passes a day with the old system unless you used the tickets of people in your party that don't ride rides. All changes take time to get used to. But, I believe for the good of all the customers, the new system will benefit wait times. Think of the new system as dinner reservations. Sorry, this is probably more into than you wanted.

As annual pass holders I do not like the new system. All of the fast passes that you want are gone by people who can book with their vacation package. When it comes to fast passes there are no benefits for annual passholdrrs. We used to enjoy just deciding on Monday to head to the parks the upcoming weekend. That will happen no more, now we have to be planners and hope that 30 days ahead will enable us to ride the rides we like. Well one ride we really like. Because unlike vacation package travelers, we aren't staying for a week or longer. Usually a day or two at a time. Seriously rethinking renewal, unless there are some changes. We liked the old way much better. Just hoping for a more positive experience next visit.

Another, and even an old, negative topic blasting WDW . Universal sure is getting their moneys worth from TRT, huh. Fast pass + is new, but not hard to learn. If your too lazy to learn about it, and plan ahead, don't blame Disney. Maybe if you went to WDW more than once every 5 years, youd understand the new system.....lol

We just got back from our second trip using the Magic Bands and we love them. We are frequent Disney visitors, and I expected to be disappointed after reading all negative reviews. I love the fact that since we arrived later in the day, I was able to plan passes for Seven Dwarves and Peter Pan for the evening, and was able to make reservations for our friends who we were meeting from out of state. I was also able to get later fast passes for New Years Day, since we were out late the night before. I do not miss HAVING to get everyone up and out first thing in the morning, and having one person race across the park at rope drop to get Fast Passes for Soarin' or Toy Story Mania! If you expect to be in the parks all day- then you can get early passes and use additional ones during the day. During this last trip we were able to use 7 fast passes in a day, at two different parks!!
As far as walking all over the parks, that takes planning and I find it diminished with the scheduled fast passes- you know what find your fast past is, so you can make doing reservations around it. In the days of legacy fast pass- you had to work around the assigned times, which could be inconvenient, particular for the big rides.
The first trip we had a few more problems with the bands working to enter the park, but they were flawless this trip.

Just got back from a one day trip to Magic Kingdom. We had selected our 3 FP+. We utilised all of them and then scheduled one more, utilised that one and then scheduled another for a total of 5 in one day in one park. If the system works every time like it did for us this time I LOVE it!!! Even stopping for a FP for Winnie the Poo was worth it even though the line was only 20 minutes long, the temp outside was 47!

Our Magic Bands worked just fine and we never had a problem with them. I feel we got totally ripped on paying for the park hopper option though, because the Fast Passes confined us to one park most of the time. We are a family who used to almost always go to two, sometimes three, parks in a day. Now that's almost impossible, especially at Christmas time, because our Fast Passes were all in the late afternoon and we couldn't get Fast Passes at another park. I realize this might not be a problem if the parks aren't crowded, but my daughter is a teacher, so we can't only go at Christmas or Spring Break (I can't tolerate the summer heat and humidity.) This is a big flaw. Love the magic bands but think Disney should go back to the way the Fast Pass used to be handled. They Magic Bands could just be used instead of the paper Fast Pass. This system puts the control in Disney's hands, not ours. Sometimes, because of the Fast Pass times, we'd have to walk clear across the park, and then do it again, because our Fast Passes were on opposite ends of the park. We couldn't do, for instance, Fantasy Land, then Tomorrow Land, then Adventure Land. We had to run from one to the other. Disney is not the most relaxing of vacations, but this one completely wore me out because of this. It felt frantic. Figure this out, Disney!

I wrote a slightly negative comment about the Fast Passes but I want to be clear. I was dreading going on our Disney trip because of all the negative comments on the Magic Bands/Fast Passes. We found the band to be wonderfully convenient. We also enjoyed being able to get on the things we most wanted to do because we had chosen our Fast Passes ahead of time. The only difficulty was having to criss cross the park so often because our Fast Passes were often at opposite ends of the park. Also, it took the ability to be spontaneous out of our hands. Although we paid a fortune for the Park Hopper option, we were unable to use it because of the Fast Pass times. All in all, the Magic Bands were a positive experience. Disney just has to tweak this a bit. Wish they could just go back to the old Fast Pass system but have people load the Fast Pass on their Magic Band at the Kiosk, instead of getting the paper pass.

We went the week of spring Break and FastPass+ worked great for us. However, I must say that I spent a LOT, and I do mean a LOT of time looking at maps, park opening times, show times, dining times, etc... So it was not easy. But it worked wonderfully for our family. I can't complain.

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