Disney insiders know that the past few weeks have had a lot of rumbling about the current FASTPASS system, and the upcoming more strictly controlled time monitoring process.
For those not as familiar…. Disney has a FASTPASS system that allows all park goers to “reserve” a time to ride a popular attraction later in the day. By inserting your park pass into these machines, located near the attraction exit, usually, you receive a small piece of paper that gives you a window in which you can return and take advantage of a smaller, faster moving FASTPASS line. This return tickets are generally at least 2 hours away, and longer, and have a window of about 3 hour to return and enjoy the ride.
It didn’t take long for seasoned Disney veterans to realize that while Castmembers will absolutely check the beginning time on the ticket, the end time was more flexible. Some would even let you use a FASTPASS several hours old, which made it really handy when planning trips around very crowded periods ( I’ve only had one cast member turn away a “too old” ticket.) Rumor has it though, that beginning March 7, all time-frames will be counted – so no more using old FASTPASS tickets late in the day!
It left me to wonder, Why? It didn’t seem to inconvenience too many people – lines always seemed to move reasonably well – but I thought there might be more to the story. I think Jim Hill may have uncovered one of the reasons with news of the creation of a new XPASS – a FASTPASS you pay for, with plusses – preferred parade seating, and the opportunity to schedule ride times! (not exactly a front of the line pass, but close).
Talk is that these experiences will only be offered to guests at Deluxe Resorts, and I would not expect them to be cheap. But then again, if I was on a “Once in a Lifetime” trip to the World during a super busy time, this might be the only way to experience everything, so it might be worth it.
Wander on over to Jim’s site and let me know what YOU think….
There has been a lot of talk recently about the new Interactive game - Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. All reports I have heard are calling this a success. I love, love, love this aspect of Disney Magic, and can’t wait to try it myself! And the collectible cards? Very nicely done – I’d love a handful myself! Take a look at this video for more information:
I am very excited to see a new feature added on to Disney’s re release of Lady and the Tramp – a video tour of Walt’s “secret” apartment inside Disneyland Park!
I have had the sincere pleasure to actually tour the apartment on the Adventures By Disney Backstage Magic tour. It’s a lot smaller than I imagined, with low ceilings and it really reminds me of someone’s garage apartment. During our tour, there was not much in the way of tschotskes in the apartment – I suspect too many sticky fingers would make that impossible. But, the couches are original and you get a true sense of the little family getaway spot right in the middle of the Park:
(For the record, I am sitting right by the infamous lamp that stays lit while the park is open, as homage to Walt Disney, himself!)
This short clip gives a little preview of the tour, hosted by his daughter Diane Miller:
Yep, I will buy the Lady and the Tramp DVD set just to have this clip!
Our friends at Disney are reaching out to the Social Media Community again with their latest project:
From Disney: The Disney Parks InsidEARS Program is designed to allow Disney Parks enthusiasts the opportunity to share online planning tips and Park memories based on their vacation experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. Disney Parks InsidEARS will also have an opportunity to display a virtual badge on DisneyParksInsidEARS.com and additional websites, as described in the Program Rules, and chat about their vacation experiences at the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resorts.
I am one of the lucky beta testers (no idea how I managed that, but so glad to be a part of it!)
The program was initially slated to premier last week, but unfortunately had some launch gremlins. After receiving my special code, I tried to log in, but was denied access. I used their “Contact Us” button and reported the problem, and they promptly sent back this email:
Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo and hello to you!
We’ve chosen a “Cinderella” theme to open this email because we all are looking forward to the fairy tale ball celebration when the Disney Parks InsidEARS program officially launches. As one of the 1,000 invited Beta Testers, we appreciate your dedication and excitement as we create this new online site and program for enthusiastic fans of Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida who like to share their opinions about Disney Parks with their online friends.
Unfortunately, the royal coach we were riding the Beta Launch in turned into a pumpkin pretty quickly (I guess we were not looking at the clock well enough when it struck midnight!) and there have been some unforeseen server outages since the Registration Codes were sent to you and the remaining 999 Beta Testers (I bet you thought we were going to say “999 Happy Haunts,” didn’t you?).
We very much appreciate you taking the time to “Contact Us” and let us know the challenges you faced. We’d like to blame Drizella and Anastasia for this mess that’s been created, but they’ve already caused enough havoc, haven’t they?
So, as we look for the enchanted glass slipper that will fit perfectly and create a completely functional DisneyParksInsidEARS.com website, we ask for your continued patience and enthusiasm about the new program.
So stay tuned and keep your EAR to the ground. And if you haven’t already, be sure to “Like” our official Disney Parks InsidEARS Facebook page. We’ll try to provide the latest updates there as often as we can.
Thank you again and have a magical day!
Kelly and Marissa
Disney Parks InsidEARS Community Managers
I thought it was a terrific response, but what especially impressed me was that they a) read my issue and b) responded…. all too uncommon these days! I wish more companies would follow suit!
I did manage to register this morning, and am proudly wearing my badge (on the blog. Not literally!)
Here is a Welcome video describing the program – I hope you enjoy!
One of the very best tour values at Disneyworld takes place at EPCOT in the Land pavillion. The hour-long Behind the Seeds Tour offers a unique backstage tour of the Land, and allows guests to get “hands on” with the vegetable and foliage and really experience the Land from the inside out!
And the very best feature? THE PRICE! Currently, $18 for adults, and $14 for kids, with annual pass and Disney Visa discounts available
And in celebration of the season, take a look at this Mickey Pumpkin, grown on site!