Disney has been slowly rolling out a “Standby Plus” system over the past few weeks, that gives guests without a FastPass+ a return time ticket to experience the attraction at a later time.
Unfortunately, this new system (which is still in testing at the moment) has met with very mixed results. Could this type of ride reservation system become the norm at Walt Disney World? And why in the world would Disney even WANT to get rid of the standby line? Let’s examine the evidence first.
3. The return ticket test is expanding to include restaurants
While the return time ticket system started with the limited run for the Frozen stage show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, it then expanded to Soarin’ at Epcot and the Anna/Elsa meet and greet at the Magic Kingdom (both with mixed results). Now the return ticket system is rolling out in a whole new direction: into quick service restaurants. Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom has been handing out return time tickets for guests who want to have lunch at the restaurant but have not made reservations or advance orders via MyMagic+.
Though we figured this test would expand to other attractions, the movement into the restaurant realm is surprising, especially as guests without a return time ticket (or a FastPass+ reservation) are being turned away now.
2. Attractions are being added quickly to the test
While FastPass+ itself had a fairly gradual rollout, the so-called “standby plus” system has been used on four attractions in only two months (less, if you don’t count the Frozen Summer Fun stage show). While attractions have been using this system infrequently, the speedy addition of new attractions to the list of those that are using return time tickets shows that Disney has a vested interest in collecting as much data as possible during peak season, perhaps in an attempt to prepare for a larger roll out before next year’s summer season.