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Jungle Cruise FASTPASS machine

Walt Disney World is set to begin testing its new FASTPASS Plus system in early May 2012, enabling guests to pre-book timeslots during which they can ride popular attractions.

The system, which was previously known by the project name "xPass", is expected to be made available to select guests from May 1-15. Jim Hill Media reports that participants in the trial will be pre-selected and notified via e-mail prior to arriving for their Walt Disney World vacation.

Guests taking part in the FASTPASS Plus trial will be able reserve time windows for a number of Magic Kingdom rides and attractions. They will then be able to return during those periods, and experience the ride without having to wait in the regular "standby" line.

The system is similar to the existing FASTPASS system, which enables guests to pick up a pass for a supported attraction from booths close to its entrance, allowing them to return during a specified time window and skip the standby line. This will continue to operate alongside FASTPASS Plus, with Disney having made changes to the system in order to enable it to reduce the number of passes it offers.

The FASTPLUS Plus system will see guests equipped with cards that feature an RFID short-range radio chip. These will be used to enter each attraction, with Disney expected to expand its use of RFID further in the future, including the addition of interactive elements to popular attractions.

It was originally rumored that FASTPASS Plus would only be available to guests staying at Walt Disney World's Deluxe Resorts. It has since been reported that it will be made available to all on-site Disney guests, although no official confirmation has been given on this by the company.

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Comments

I am genuinely disappointed to hear that Disney are continuing with this new system. Having been to WDW many times, and can say that the existing fast-pass is one the best of it's kind. I don't see how this pre booking nonsense is going to work and improve it? When I visit Florida, I never go with a mapped out plan of what I'm doing each day and like to explore all the parks as and when.
I have discussed this with my family and friends who have also used the fast-pass system and they too are not encouraged by this new idea. I understand that fast pass plus is going to run along side the original, but it seems like a gimmick to me that isn't necessary.

I'm heading to WDL this year so I'll have to wait and see how the testing goes.

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